NHK is reporting this new admission as coming from the late plant manager Masao Yoshida. He discussed problems with getting desperately needed equipment to the plant during the meltdowns.
TEPCO sent batteries needed to try to operate control room equipment without any notice of the size or voltage of the batteries. Most batteries were too heavy to carry. Workers had to waste time sorting through the batteries to find ones that were usable. Yoshida also noted that many of the supplies were stuck 50km from the plant. After radiation levels rose they were unable to get supplies delivered. This required workers at the plant to drive the 50km to go retrieve them.
This new admission shows the dire situation they were under at the plant. It also shows flaws in the current safety response plans in Japan and elsewhere. Japan’s Oi nuclear plant has built a response plan that involved needing helicopters to deliver equipment. They had done nothing to assure they even had a contractor to fly in equipment let alone done anything to assure anyone would risk themselves to make such deliveries. The US FLEX response, a similar undertaking to try to plan a response also fails this test. No one is determining who would deliver in needed equipment even if radiation levels become dangerous. Anyone delivering to a plant would need not just a sense of purpose but also some radiation protection training and protective equipment such as radiation suits and respirators.
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