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TEPCO Staffer Who Tested Positive For Drugs Allowed to Enter Critical Area at Nuclear Power Plant

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant

A person who had tested positive for drugs entered a critical area where nuclear materials are used and stored at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture last month, the Nuclear Regulation Authority has said.

According to a report at a closed NRA meeting on Wednesday, an employee of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc., tested positive for drugs before entering the area at a plant operated by the company on Oct. 2.

A staffer in charge of the test mistakenly thought the test result was negative and allowed the employee to enter the area. Another staffer realized the error, and the employee in question was removed from the area several minutes later.

The employee later tested negative in police tests, which suggests that the test kit used by TEPCO may have produced an inaccurate result.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority issued a de facto ban on the operation of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant due to a series of deficiencies in anti-terrorist measures and has been inspecting TEPCO’s efforts.