The day after METI told the press they were taking over the leaking water response at Fukushima Daiichi, they proved why this may be a horrible idea. METI Minister Toshmitsu Motegi went to Fukushima Daiichi and immediately blamed the workers on the ground for the string of constant failures by TEPCO: (translation via Ex-SKF)
“About the leak of 300 tonnes of contaminated water from a storage tank at the plant, Ministry of Economy thinks it was caused more by human errors on the part of TEPCO, such as insufficient daily inspections. The Ministry points out, “It’s a matter of ability [of the workers] to respond at the plant, rather than technology or money.” The Ministry plans to strengthen the oversight on TEPCO.”
What is Motegi’s experience? He was a McKinsey management consultant.
Based on what we know of the conditions at the plant Motegi seems utterly clueless. Most of the workers are contractors with little ability to take charge in their work roles. They are told what to do and frequently receive little training. As Ex-SKF mentions their pay is frequently menial on top of the risk they take every day. Higher up workers at the plant have frequently expressed their frustration as they tried to get TEPCO management to do the right thing when planning projects. Instead TEPCO found ways to cut corners to save money despite the protesting from those doing the planning at the plant. Even plant manager Yoshida took advantage of a media interview to press TEPCO’s corporate office who was refusing to give him funds to put up a temporary tsunami wall to protect what was left of the plant.
Motegi goes on to confirm his utter cluelessness by making this statement: (translation via Ex-SKF)
“It is said that experts in contaminated water have little say within TEPCO. The Ministry is considering having general contractors with deep knowledge of how to deal with contaminated water in the team.”
If METI sounds familiar, it is the parent agency of NISA, Japan’s previous nuclear regulator. NISA was cited in one of the post disaster investigations as CAUSING the man made disaster at Fukushima Daiichi through their incompetence and nepotism. NISA did not keep records of their post disaster meetings. METI itself does not have the best track record with bribery scandals involving the nuclear industry in the late 1990’s and a stock trading scandal last year.
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