Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare

Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare

In Focus: Radiation Protection at Works Relating to TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident

Press release

January 23, 2015
Construction Safety Office,
Occupational Safety and Health Department,
Labour Standards Bureau
Office for Radiation Protection of Workers

Senior Vice-Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare Demands Thorough Implementation of Occupational Accident Prevention Measures

The number of occupational accidents in connection with decommissioning work at Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)’s Fukushima Daiichi NPP increased significantly last year, and included one fatal accident. Two fatal accidents have occurred in 2015: at Fukushima Daiichi NPP on January 19 and at Fukushima Daini NPP the following day.

Ensuring occupational safety and health is an indispensable component of the work at the nuclear power stations and of the decommissioning work crucial for the reconstruction of Fukushima. Therefore, on January 23, 2015, Kanae Yamamoto, Senior Vice-Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare, delivered a document issued by Yasuhisa Shiozaki, Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare, to Mr. Naomi Hirose, president of TEPCO, demanding thorough impelementation of occupational accident prevention measures at the nuclear power plants.

[Details of the Document Issued by the Minister]

  1. TEPCO should assume greater responsibility and make its utmost efforts to prevent occupational accidents at its nuclear power plants in light of the fact that a number of primary contractors are engaged in a complicated variety of work subject to high ambient dose rates resulting from the nuclear accident, and given TEPCO’s responsibility, not as a mere contractee, but as owner of the nuclear facilities and the party responsible for the nuclear accident.
  2. TEPCO headquarters, as the company’s overall supervisory organ, should be aware of the risk of occupational accidents and take the initiative in implementing occupational accident prevention measures, rather than delegating responsibility for such measures to power plant managers, primary contractors and workers.
  3. TEPCO should ensure effective communications and adjustments among the various operations at the respective workplaces and provide necessary guidance on occupational accident prevention measures to be taken by primary contractors. Furthermore, the company should carefully manage radiation dosages and enhance its emergency medical systems.
  1. Document Issued by the Minister PDF 20KB
  2. Occupational Accidents Resulting in Injury or Death within the Premises of TEPCO’s Fukshima Daiichi NPP (from 2014) PDF 19KB
  3. Occupational Accidents in Connection with Decommissioning Work at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi NPP by Year PDF 52KB