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Subcontractor Tells Fukushima Workers To Hide Radiation Exposure

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the how-to-lie-with-statistics-in-a-big-way dept.

Japan 439

First time accepted submitter fredprado writes "Apparently at least one subcontractor hired to clean up the Fukushima site has been urging their workers to put their radiation detectors lined under lead shieldings. A diagram can be seen here. The authorities decided not to prosecute him, even after one employee presenting them recordings of him trying to talk the said employee into it."

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439 comments

seems fine to me (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40730797)

makes sense; those things are probably expensive and, I gather, are sensitive to radiation. Don't want to risk damaging them.

Re:seems fine to me (5, Funny)

msauve (701917) | about 2 years ago | (#40731087)

By similar logic, people should drive at night with their headlights off. If they can't be seen, it makes it harder for other drivers to hit them.

Re:seems fine to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40731115)

aeroplane? superman?

First post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40730817)

Are you gay? Are you a nigger? Are you a gay nigger?

Re:First post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40730985)

One of these days, you will forget to post anonymously.

Re:First post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40731031)

Nope. I troll Slashdot ALL THE TIME and I do not, nor have I ever, had a regular account. Been viewing this site for close twelve years.

Re:First post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40731089)

I do have to say, if you're going to troll Slashdot it's best to do it without an account. I use an account and if I post anon I can't post anon again for hours. Without an account it's like 10 minutes. And I have excellent karma! WTF?

Re:First post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40731409)

At least I got some attention this time! =)

This is why we need more unions and more workers r (3, Insightful)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 years ago | (#40730819)

This is why we need more unions and more workers rights.

and they should be able to use contractors and subcontractors to get out being liable.

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40730845)

We? Last time I checked, America and Japan were not the same nation...

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40730921)

Last time I checked America was a continent. And I'm from Europe, don't assume we are only "americans".

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (1)

Teancum (67324) | about 2 years ago | (#40731537)

America is also the name of the country, in case you haven't got a clue about the place.

Still, sometimes it is useful to thump some people in the head to remind them that the Slashdot readership isn't only from Michigan (the original home of Slashdot).

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (1)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about 2 years ago | (#40730957)

Japan and America, East and West, meet in one person: Joe Dragon. And he's a Slashdot regular!

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40731455)

We? Last time I checked, America and Japan were not the same nation...

What part of "we" spells "nation"? Or did some creepy politician make you believe that "identity = nationality"?

On /. the meaning of "we" is: "we, nerds & geeks". Except when an AC uses "we": then it is "we, anonymous cowards".

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (1, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 2 years ago | (#40730855)

Codify workers rights in LAW, not illegal pooling of power.

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (5, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | about 2 years ago | (#40730891)

And how are they supposed to do that? Individual workers calling their Senators up on the phone, each one of them telling the Senator something slightly different from the last one? Senators don't take phone calls from workers. They take phone calls from executives.

Actually, they don't take phone calls from either. They take phone calls from lobbyists, people with whom they have a relationship and who have worked with them before. Corporate management has plenty of money to hire them. Individual workers don't.

They can, however, get together and pool their money to hire a lobbyist. We should make up a name for such a unified group of people.

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40730941)

>>>And how are they supposed to do that? Individual workers calling their Senators up on the phone

Sure why not.
Also remind the Senator that he's up for relection, and you're inclined not to vote for him if he passes laws that screw you.

>>>They can, however, get together and pool their money to hire a lobbyist. We should make up a name for such a unified group of people.

I'd rather outlaw the existence of corporate speech; they can no longer hire lobbyists, else they lose their license to exist. Let the senators or congressmen talk to people one-as-one as individuals w/o a middleman. Stop my company from speaking for me, as if I automatically agree with the company's position just because I work here.

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (1)

mwlewis (794711) | about 2 years ago | (#40731033)

Why would anyone think that the workers agree with whatever the company says? That makes no sense. Now, if the company is saying something that the owners don't agree with, then there's a problem.

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (3, Interesting)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#40731493)

I'd rather outlaw the existence of corporate speech; they can no longer hire lobbyists

Lobbyists are simply people. Corporations are headed up by CEOs. Are you going to make it illegal for them to contact their reps?

The only problems with your ideas is that they would be gross violations of the first amendment, and are more dangerous than the issues they are trying to fix.

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (4, Insightful)

Yvanhoe (564877) | about 2 years ago | (#40731129)

You are talking about America. In most countries, what Americans call "lobbying" is called "corruption" ans is illegal.

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (0)

jfengel (409917) | about 2 years ago | (#40731257)

Very little of lobbying is corrupt. There are exceptions, of course, but the vast majority of lobbying is a rather dull profession involving large numbers of meetings and endless phone calls. No significant money changes hands. Some lobbying takes the form of fundraising, but that goes into campaign coffers and the FEC tracks it closely to ensure that it doesn't end up in the candidates' personal accounts.

I'm not saying it's a perfect system, far from it. But it's not even close to the "legalized bribe" that most people who don't work in Washington imagine it is.

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#40731367)

Some lobbying takes the form of fundraising, but that goes into campaign coffers and the FEC tracks it closely to ensure that it doesn't end up in the candidates' personal accounts.

You mean that the FEC ensures that every penny that the candidate doesn't have to spend on his own campaign has to be disposed of some other way?

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40731395)

lobby contributes money to congressperson.
congressperson knows what said lobby wants.
congress person will most likely do whatever the largest contributor wants, in order to get said money again.
campaign coffers being filled makes no difference, considering what can be written off as campaign expenses.
how is that not a "legalized bribe"?

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40731403)

I got a few ideas, we could call them, briberists, or extorsionists, hmm too real?

I know, CEOR - Corporate Executive Office Representer

There, another meaningless generic broad term to wrotten the political system in ephemism's and corruption dragging the whole country and its citizens down with it, except the 1% of course, those can just buy a new country to settle in.

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (4, Informative)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#40731487)

In the UK we have Health and Safety guys to enforce that kind of thing. It is their job to protect workers and nothing else. Their authority overrules other managers in most cases.

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 2 years ago | (#40730915)

It sounds like that has already happened:

Japan's health ministry said on Sunday it would investigate the reports, Reuters reported.

Japanese law has set an annual radiation exposure safety threshold of 50 millisieverts for nuclear plant workers during normal operations.

I don't see anything in the linked articles which indicates there has been a decision to not prosecute him though. FUD headline.

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40731095)

How is it a FUD headline? The entire article is about what the headline says.

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 2 years ago | (#40731141)

Please point out where in the linked articles it says this:

The authorities decided not to prosecute him

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (2)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | about 2 years ago | (#40731091)

Illegal pooling of power? I guess you can make anything illegal, but from say a Rothbardian natural rights point of view (I'm guessing you're a libertarian) there is absolutely nothing wrong with banding together in contract negotiations (unless there are pre-existing contractual promises not to do so). Nor even stipulating in those negotiations that all employees have to be union ...

Now of course a lot of current employment law is not exactly Rothbardian, but that's an orthogonal issue.

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 2 years ago | (#40731451)

Codify workers rights in LAW, not illegal pooling of power.

Historically, the only way to get worker rights codified in LAW has been for workers to join together and give the politicians the choice between that and a communist revolution.

Also, I'm not sure exactly what laws you're referring to when you declare pooling of power to be illegal. Care to elaborate?

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40730859)

This is why we need more unions and more workers rights.

and they should be able to use contractors and subcontractors to get out being liable.

Yeah, right.

Unions help curb criminal behavior.

What color is the sky on your planet?

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (4, Insightful)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about 2 years ago | (#40730973)

Unions can curb criminal behavior on the part of corporations. Of course, unions being organized power, are also susceptible to being abused as well. Arguing against having any watchmen at all is a bit silly, but we need to also consider who watches the watchmen.

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (4, Interesting)

geoskd (321194) | about 2 years ago | (#40731037)

Unions can curb criminal behavior on the part of corporations. Of course, unions being organized power, are also susceptible to being abused as well. Arguing against having any watchmen at all is a bit silly, but we need to also consider who watches the watchmen.

The answer is not more levels of middlemen, who contribute nothing but another avenue for corruption. The answer, as suggested by others here, is support for workers rights codified by law. The fact that our current democratic process has been thoroughly subverted by the top 1% doesn't mean that adding more corrupt bureaucrats to the process is a good idea, much less the right solution.

-=Geoskd

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40731077)

If you want to change workers rights do it for everyone, not just people in your little club. Unions should be illegal in a modern society of law and order. There should not be a subset of people exerting more force then a random group of equivalent private citizens.

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (4, Insightful)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 2 years ago | (#40731135)

By that logic corporations should also be illegal.

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40731361)

...and government, the legal establishment, boy scouts...and last, but by no means least, slashdot.

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 2 years ago | (#40730881)

Um. No.

Here's the nice thing about the free market. If you don't like something your employer tells you to do, you don't have to work for them. In fact, with a free enough society, you can tell others what your employer tried to tell you to do which will either:

A) Cause the employer's customers not to support him and therefore he goes bust.

B) Cause the employees to all quit their job or demand higher pay to work.

C) Cause the employer to change his orders to prevent A or B from happening.

Don't like being told to hide radiation exposure? Don't work for the guy!

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40730959)

Now compare that one dude rallying others to a union. You get the same thing. Unions might be like maffia in corrupt USA as usual. But in everywhere else unions work the way you described except they actively negotiate and work for workers right constantly monitoring. You don't need to reinvent the wheel everytime a issue comes up, you already have the union/channel to work and be heard through.

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 2 years ago | (#40731093)

I really have no problems with unions the abstract, but in practice I cannot support them due to the laws in the US. If workers are striking, the employer absolutely has the right to fire them. Just as every employee is different, so should their contract. Collective bargaining is an absolutely silly way to conduct business. Even though Joe, Bob and Frank all have the same job and the same experience, they each have their own wants, needs and ability levels. If Joe is much better than Bob and Frank at his job, Joe should get paid more. If Frank is a single young guy, having dental insurance is probably low on his priority list compared to Joe and Bob who both have growing families. Etc.

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40731207)

It's actually worse. In many US states that do not have "right to work" laws, you are not allowed to work in a particular job unless you are a member of their union. This is how far this one-sided situation has gotten out of hand. Note that this is not a professional certification issue. You simply cannot work in that field at all unless you are a union member. They've done this so businesses cannot hire other people when the union is on strike, and in one fell swoop erased the fundamental right to work from the table.

Doesn't work. (5, Insightful)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 2 years ago | (#40730971)

Really. It doesn't. Globalism Breaks Capitalism. Period. It's that simple. You are completing on the global stage. Your employer is not. You can't win. You can't keep up. They will import desperate workers from impoverished countries. You will compete with them for food and shelter. Automation makes you disposable and obsolete. You can't work elsewhere, because there are very few jobs (automation) and there are lots of people to do those jobs (globalism).

Free market Capitalism is fundamentally broken. Adam Smith wasn't a futurist. He had no vision. Ayn Rand was just a little woman afraid of a nasty dictator. Get over your fear, and learn to face facts. Adam couldn't, Ayn couldn't. Can you?

Re:Doesn't work. (-1, Flamebait)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40731035)

Therefore what we need is a World Government to TELL us how we should live, as if we are stupid children. In fact they'll likely bar us from even having children (except 1) if the UN Government's plan to diminish world population to 500 million goes through.

Re:Doesn't work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40731243)

but that isn't really a thing.

Re:Doesn't work. (4, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#40731397)

No. On the contrary. You need a government to tell COMPANIES what they can and cannot do.

Governments are supposed to represent the citizens, therefore they should do whatever best helps their citizens.

If that means companies have to comply to all kinds of rules and regulations then I see no problem in that. Companies wouldn't mind either, because they are not living things. Managers and shareholders might not like it, but they're citizens like everybody else, and their well-being is no less of more important than that of anybody else.

Re:Doesn't work. (1, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 2 years ago | (#40731545)

If we are to have a government, it only has 2 legitimate roles:

A) Protect its citizens from force (foreign attack, murder, theft, etc.)

B) Protect its citizens from fraud (misrepresentation, civil court system, etc.)

In a free market, companies have a single goal:

Make a profit.

How do they do that? By having people pay for services/goods. Why do they pay for goods and services? Because they improve people's quality of living. If they did not, they wouldn't be bought and the company would go out of business.

If government exists (as opposed to replacing the traditional functions of government with the free market), a government that only regulates force and fraud is the only way to ensure the highest possible quality of life for those who live under the jurisdiction of that government.

Re:Doesn't work. (4, Insightful)

rrohbeck (944847) | about 2 years ago | (#40731053)

Many people have recognized this.
And many intellectuals have come to recognize Karl Marx as what he was: A great economist.

Re:Doesn't work. (1, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 2 years ago | (#40731055)

I can't keep up?

What I believe you are forgetting is that humans aren't machinery. The right employees can make and break a company. Companies who believe that employees are disposable and you can find another usually don't stay in business for very long.

And, no, I'm not talking about head CEOs or people with "vision" for the company but everyday, common, employees. If an employee adds no value compared to their cost, of course they will be replaced with someone who does, so the goal as an employee is not to do your "job" but add value to the product. If you add value, you will always have a job.

Swap a group of English speaking cashiers making slightly above the minimum wage for a group of foreigners working for less who speak with a thick accent in any American shop and watch that shop go out of business.

Why would that shop go out of business? Surely their costs were lowered, the foreigners had the same job description and could do the basics of the job well (scan items, make change, hand a receipt) but failed to really add any sort of value to the customer because they couldn't have conversations with them, they didn't know what certain customers wanted, etc.

You can win when you view yourself in the right light. You aren't hired to do a "job" you are hired to add value.

Re:Doesn't work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40731417)

Swap a group of English speaking cashiers making slightly above the minimum wage for a group of foreigners working for less who speak with a thick accent in any American shop and watch that shop go out of business.

Why would that shop go out of business? Surely their costs were lowered, the foreigners had the same job description and could do the basics of the job well (scan items, make change, hand a receipt) but failed to really add any sort of value to the customer because they couldn't have conversations with them, they didn't know what certain customers wanted, etc.

>>insert anecdotes about convenience stores and taxi drivers.

Re:Doesn't work. (4, Informative)

geoskd (321194) | about 2 years ago | (#40731119)

No where in all that did I see any hint of a better idea.

The root of our economic problem (as you hinted at, but stopped short of actually saying), is that our economy depends on balance. That balance is the level of production and the level of consumption being about equal. When Production becomes too great, companies cut back. When consumption becomes too great, shortages drive up costs and cause a bubble (which will burst). The basic trouble is that technology constantly drives increases in production, and decreases in overall consumption. (Greater production at lower cost, pushes wealth to the top, but the consumers have less money to buy things, so consumption actually is reduced. There are only two forces on earth that combat this trend, and restore balance to the economy, and one or both will result. The first is taxes. The best known way to get the wealth back from the top, and restore the consumption power it has, is to return it to the bottom by the way of social programs (health care, disability, welfare). The second way is revolution. With not enough taxes on the wealthy to counteract the concentrating effects of innovation, the concentration of wealth at the top unbalances the economy, causing rapid economic swings, volatile prices, and unemployment. If the process continues unchecked, the only logical result is revolution, and it is invariable, and inevitable.

-=Geoskd

Re:Doesn't work. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40731139)

Have to step in to defend Adam Smith here. He actually did see the problems that inevitably come with employers having more power than workers, and (as he did with everything) went on at some length about it. If half the people wearing Adam Smith ties had actually read The Wealth of Nations, they'd call him a commie.

Re:Doesn't work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40731153)

You are a sad, ignorant person. Look, there are definitely market failures that exist, and yes, there are instances where government needs to step in and fix those market failures.

But to say that capitalism doesn't work? And you bring up one of the greatest success stories of free markets (globalization)? Yes, it does certainly suck for unskilled workers in the developed world that they are now competing with poor people in China or Malaysia. But you know what? That poor person is extremely thankful that they have a chance to raise their standard of living.

You do realize that globalization has, over the past two decades, lifted nearly two billion people out of absolute, miserable destitute poverty and into more mild poverty, or even into decent living standards?

You are incredibly selfish to want to keep these billions of people out of the global marketplace for the aid of those living in already developed economies. It's easy to forget that making 26,000 euro a year means you're (nominally) in the wealthiest 5% of the population in the world.

Re:Doesn't work. (1, Informative)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#40731155)

Free market Capitalism is fundamentally broken.

Nonsense. Free market Capitalism doesn't exist. Everything is tightly regulated. The entire planet is under various systems of state* run 'capitalism'. Globalism (as defined here) is just the attempt to put it all under one state. Only in contraband will you find anything approaching free market capitalism where all participants have an equal chance at becoming rich and powerful.

*state=corporation

Re:Doesn't work. (1)

lightknight (213164) | about 2 years ago | (#40731293)

Shhhhhhh! He doesn't know that. It's funny when they're bred to attack the very thing that might help them.

Probably thinks that NAFTA is about free trade too.

Re:Doesn't work. (1)

bmacs27 (1314285) | about 2 years ago | (#40731467)

You don't think states are involved in the contraband markets? I mean, clearly they are as enforcement. It seems natural to exercise that leverage as participants.

Re:Doesn't work. (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#40731549)

In that case, everything's a free market. Simply run by the most powerful. It doesn't matter if you call it 'public' or 'private'. Power is power.

Re:Doesn't work. (5, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | about 2 years ago | (#40731219)

It's worth noting that Smith strongly advocated market regulation. He warned that inadequate or incompetent regulation of the market would lead to exactly the sorts of problems we're having now. He further warned against anything like corporate personhood as that would remove moral thinking from economic decisions.

The so-called proponents of Smith's Capitalism are VERY selective about which parts they implement and 100% of his warnings have fallen on deaf ears. They are just as bad as the fundamentalist Jihadists who like to skip over all the bits about not killing 'people of the book'.

Re:Doesn't work. (1)

gdy (708914) | about 2 years ago | (#40731355)

It works very well from the standpoint of desperate workers from impoverished countries.

Re:Doesn't work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40731509)

I want the freedom to choose for myself. Diversity is of utmost importance. It would be nice for all the people who want one way of life (say, communism) to go to their respective place and live that way.

I'll take the place that the government stays (mostly) out of my hair. My hard work is taxed at the same rate as the sloth who works to get by. I can live life the way I choose, without hurting anyone else in the process.

One set of global rules is going to cause an amazing amount of chaos and backlash. People don't all value the same things, and that is one of the strengths of the human race.

Re:Doesn't work. (1, Flamebait)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#40731513)

You can't keep up. They will import desperate workers from impoverished countries.

This isnt "the worker losing", its "impoverished people getting job opportunities." Now, justify to me why Raj in India DOESNT deserve your job if he's poor as dirt and is willing to work harder for less than you?

Or is this "I want to defend workers rights, as long as the worker is me"?

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40731237)

Um no. Why don't you look and see how well that worked before unions? Here's a hint. We would never have had a need to create unions if there were never a reason to have them. Same thing goes for regulations. There would never have been a need to create the EPA if everything had worked out just fine under the free market. Learn some history please.

Now you may argue that unions or regulations have gone to far, but it's absurd and ignorant to proclaim they have no place and that the free market would have solved all the problems that they address. The simple fact is that the free market did not fix those problems. If they had, unions would have never been formed in the first place.

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (1)

Teresita (982888) | about 2 years ago | (#40730889)

Are you kidding? If the radiation detector reaches a certain level, that means the contractor has to kick that employee to the curb and hire a fresh one. You know how much that cuts into the profit margin?

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40730903)

This is why we need more unions and more workers rights.

and they should be able to use contractors and subcontractors to get out being liable.

Actually, in the US, this kind of ridiculously dangerous behavior would be covered by OSHA laws.

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (5, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | about 2 years ago | (#40731049)

This is why we need more unions and more workers rights.

and they should be able to use contractors and subcontractors to get out being liable.

Actually, in the US, this kind of ridiculously dangerous behavior would be covered by OSHA laws.

OSHA laws which only exist thanks to unions.

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40730939)

If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

Maybe if you weren't so brainwashed by union propaganda you could see past every situation being an opportunity to push more union laws. In Japan no less.

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (2)

rubycodez (864176) | about 2 years ago | (#40731001)

Japan already has both.

What they also have, same as the USA, is government in the pockets of large corporations.

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (1)

Locutus (9039) | about 2 years ago | (#40731213)

it's really an IQ test to see if the workers are really intelligent enough to be working at such a location. Slip your radiation detector badge into the shielded sleeve and you get reassigned to digging utility trenches using a shovel.

LoB

Re:This is why we need more unions and more worker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40731271)

Yeah! The free market is going to ensure workers' safety with its 'invisible hand!'

That Poster... (2)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 2 years ago | (#40730833)

Is there a translation? This is quite a serious allegation if true.

Re:That Poster... (2)

mysidia (191772) | about 2 years ago | (#40731201)

It's a serious allegation. And there's more coverage [nbcnews.com] than one article in Japanese.

However... I wonder how "effective" that little bit of lead shielding would actually be at "hiding" radiation exposure.

A tiny little shielding that you can wear like that won't deflect a whole lot of certain kinds of radiation. If you have a dosimeter reading from behind the shielding, it's likely possible that officials will "correct" the reading, based on the radiation deflection characteristics of the shield, and the readings taken behind the shield, it will be possible to estimate the radiation dosage that occurs without the shielding.

If a little bit of lead was that effective, the entire suit would be made out of the material.

To deflect a whole lot of radiation, you need 1" or greater thickness, which would be totally impractical for a worker to wear, due to the excessive weight of the lead.

one good result: (4, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#40730869)

the Japanese people will no longer blindly trust their government

Re:one good result: (-1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40730977)

You mean like how the Europeans and Americans learned to no longer blindly trust their government? Oh that's right. Many still do.

For example: Many still think the government is the best provider for our health, despite tons-and-tons of evidence to the contrary. Like this Fukushima coverup, the 9/11 air quality coverup, and others which demo the government does not care if people get sick or die.

Re:one good result: (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#40731009)

it's ok to think the government would do a poor job at providing for our health

but it's insane to think corporations would do a better job

therefore, you choose government

for example, those europeans with universal healthcare live longer than americans, and pay less for their healthcare

because the american model is not about our health, it is about maximizing profit

Re:one good result: (1)

mwlewis (794711) | about 2 years ago | (#40731073)

Why are corporations the only alternative? Why wouldn't you prefer rely on yourself?

If you think that Americans live shorter lives than Europeans because of the respective health care systems, how do you explain that Japanese immigrants to America live longer than Japanese in Japan (who live longer than Europeans)?

Re:one good result: (4, Insightful)

lessthan (977374) | about 2 years ago | (#40731323)

Because I have better things to be doing. (Like posting on Slashdot.) The problem with self-reliance is that it requires you to be an expert at everything you do. Not just proficient, but an expert. If the healthcare company includes a screw-you clause and you miss it, then you are screwed. Think of the Hurricane Katrina disaster. The insurance companies sold many people hurricane insurance. A lot of people lost their houses to the storm surge, which the insurance claimed was "flood damage" and, if you didn't have flood insurance, you were out of luck [usatoday.com].

Re:one good result: (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about 2 years ago | (#40731425)

One does not need to be an expert to contract private health care. That is an absurd exaggeration.

Yes, insurances can be tricky and sometimes companies find loopholes to screw you, but, on the other hand, governments are incapable of providing a service with similar or better quality in high population countries. The only countries where public health care really works are countries where the population is relatively small.

Furthermore nothing prevents you from saving the money and using for treatment whenever you need it. Save for extreme cases it tends even to be a cheaper approach than insurances (health insurance companies are profitable entities after all), and you have full control over it. Again I should point that you don't need to be an expert to do it either.

Not snark, just interested. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40731331)

Citation?

Re:Not snark, just interested. (1)

mwlewis (794711) | about 2 years ago | (#40731391)

Here [stanford.edu]:
"The cohort of Japanese men in the Honolulu Heart Program studies has a life expectancy that is longer than their counterparts in Japan, and Japan has the longest life expectancy of any country in the world."

Re:one good result: (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#40731103)

Ask the working poor who can't afford health insurance how that private medicine thing is working out.

There is nothing more evil or idiotic than blind ideology.

Re:one good result: (1)

Goaway (82658) | about 2 years ago | (#40731607)

It is pretty condescending of you to suggest they have been "blindly trusting" anyone up until now.

And I am somewhat unclear on how the fact that a company forced its employees to lie and put them at risk is going to make them distrustful of the government?

You know... (3, Insightful)

ilsaloving (1534307) | about 2 years ago | (#40730871)

You know, it would be a lot easier to refute anti nuclear fears as being overly paranoid if we stopped giving them reasons to be just that. The situation would be have been under much better control and (slightly) less of a PR disaster if they would just stop with the lies.

Health effects in children (5, Informative)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#40730873)

Thyroid cysts or nodules are being found [telegraph.co.uk] in 36% of 38,000 Fukushima children. A 2001 study in Nagasaki found an incidence of 0%. Thyroid is associated with iodine, as the substance is essential to its function. Iodine-131 was a considerable component of the contaminants released in the incident.

Re:Health effects in children (3, Interesting)

Psion (2244) | about 2 years ago | (#40730961)

That same article states:

"Yes, 35.8 percent of children in the study have lumps or cysts, but this is not the same as cancer," said Naomi Takagi, an associate professor at Fukushima University Medical School Hospital, which administered the tests.

"We do not know that cause of this, but it is hard to believe that is due to the effects of radiation," she said. "This is an early test and we will only see the effects of radiation exposure after four or five years."

Re:Health effects in children (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40731127)

What a load of BS.

Maybe they should set up a summer camp to 35.8% of Nagasaki children (or just the children from who said/support this thought) very near the fukushima plant so later after 4 or 5 years they can confirm it.

Tssk, the lack of morals/integrity to say this wasn't due to the effects of radiation is beyond insult.

The authorities decided not to prosecute (3, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40730907)

Government coverup. Just like they lied about how much radiation there really was. (Turns out they cut their readings by 1/3rd.) Or how the government claimed the air quality at the burning WTC wreckage was "safe" even though it wasn't. Governments don't protect the people; they lie, inveigle, and deny.

Re:The authorities decided not to prosecute (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | about 2 years ago | (#40731071)

What's the alternative? The government can't say what would be best for the people: "Run!"

Re:The authorities decided not to prosecute (1)

lessthan (977374) | about 2 years ago | (#40731349)

I also read an article in the July issue of Popular Science that says that right after the disaster, the Japanese government doubled the amount they listed as the "safe" amount of radiation per year.
I would love it if we started switching to the micro nuke power plants, but how can we? The world governments' first reaction to a nuclear disaster is to lie and cover up.

Moral Credibility (5, Interesting)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | about 2 years ago | (#40731125)

In order to safely operate today's generation of nuclear fission reactors, you need the operators and regulators to be transparent and competent. The folks running this Fukushima travesty are neither transparent nor competent.

Therefore I am forced to conclude that the human race in 2012 does not have the moral credibility to be trusted to operate nuclear fission reactors.

Excellent (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40731381)

Nice logical breakdown. -Though that last sentence, it's a logical fallacy of composition. It is akin to saying

'The blonde girl I dated was not a virgin, therefore all blonde girls are not virgins.'

Re:Excellent (1)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | about 2 years ago | (#40731437)

No, sorry. Your analogy is bogus. Nuclear accidents have global impacts. They have detected Fukushima radiation in British Columbia. Chernobyl impacted all of Northern Europe. One blonde chick.... stands alone.

Sad and unsurprising (0)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#40731173)

Culturally speaking, this fits in rather well with what I understand of Japanese culture and mentality.

Interestingly, this is the second Japan oriented story today where the previous one talks of how the Japanese law makers fell easy prey to copyright interests creating laws and penalties which would be unimaginable anywhere else. (Connected stories discuss the consequences of Japan's famously high conviction rate. Among the reasons many included a high rate of false convictions through confessions obtained through inhumane measures such as torture and the reluctance of performing autopsies and pressures to assign 'natural causes' to death.)

The patterns seems to come down to a complete disregard of consequences to anyone else so long as personal image/public perception is boosted or maintained.

In the western mind, we would ideally hope to create such positive public perception by ACTUALLY DOING the things which make us appear to be successful. You know, like maintaining a good safety record by actually maintaining good safety practices. But that's not the way they see it, apparently. They all lie to each other at every turn.

So it's no wonder there is so much protest of nuclear power in Japan. The people already know they are being lied to and the parties responsibile have no intention of changing their ways.

(disclosure: I have experience in the US nuclear industry and with working within Japanese organizations)

In short, the US mindset of TMI (Three Mile Island) is that it was tragic and we learned a lot from it and changed the way we do things.
In short, the Japan mindset of Fukushima is that it was tragic and we should strive to do a better job of containing embarassing things.

Holy fucking shit.

Fuck the environment and all the people. Let's just not get embarassed.

Typical for technocrats (2, Interesting)

emt377 (610337) | about 2 years ago | (#40731375)

This is actually pretty typical when technocrats are in charge. Because they have huge stockpiles of paid-for dosimeters that workers use every day, but which saturate at very low levels, they decide they're going to use those by putting them behind a shield and then adjusting the readings correspondingly. Makes sense, except they give absolutely no consideration to appearances. Ignorant journalists and nutty lefty conspiracy theorists then have a field day.

Re:Typical for technocrats (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40731427)

This is actually pretty typical when technocrats are in charge. Because they have huge stockpiles of paid-for dosimeters that workers use every day, but which saturate at very low levels, they decide they're going to use those by putting them behind a shield and then adjusting the readings correspondingly. Makes sense, except they give absolutely no consideration to appearances. Ignorant journalists and nutty lefty conspiracy theorists then have a field day.

I am guessing they don't do science where you work...

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