Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Fukushima 50: Kamikazes for Peace and Life As It Were

Who are the heroes in Japan? click: here are tweets and family information.
The Fukushima 50 are not afraid to die, so says  Jim Axelrod:

What a moment. Is the international collection of nations preparing lead sarcophagus/sarcophagi for the worst case scenario? or only nail biting and scaring people with maps of fault lines and reactors in our countries known for years and years? Are we going to come together like a JFK moon moment, or freak out with wide eyed news casts that do not help? MORE HERE

This is the moment where politicians need to Man Up. They did not do it when the people rose up against Qaddafi, they left them to hang. Where is the UN? Do only rescue dog teams and recovery workers know how to work together? where is the spirit of cooperation? The newscasters think letting someone use their cell phone to phone home is a huge inspirational moment. no.
Where is the leadership in really "taking advantage of a catastrophe" to make something good happen? i spit on the media. no wait, i try not to leave my dna laying around.

They have become known as the “Fukushima 50.” They even have their own Twitter hash tag, #fukushima50. This group of courageous technicians has remained at their posts throughout the reactor crisis in Japan, evacuating only briefly when radiation levels spiked during a procedure to cool the reactors with seawater.

The technicians have been rotated through the danger zone to reduce the risk of sustained exposure. Fox News reports the Japanese government has raised the dosage of radiation they can be asked to endure from 100 to 250 millisieverts. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the global yearly average dose of radiation is 1.3 millisieverts (mSv). Most nuclear plant workers soak up an extra mSv or two per year. 250 mSv is the recommended maximum limit for exposure to cosmic radiation during a space mission, and five times what American nuclear technicians can be legally subjected to. These technicians are eating a lifetime of radiation with every passing day. Some experts have compared it to getting hit by a chest X-ray every couple of hours.

Their task, as described in the New York Times, involves “crawling through labyrinths of equipment in utter darkness pierced only by their flashlights, listening for periodic explosions as hydrogen gas escaping from crippled reactors ignites on contact with air.” To accomplish this task, “they breathe through uncomfortable respirators or carry heavy oxygen tanks on their backs.” They must sometimes work quickly in environments that could kill them in a matter of minutes.
A CBS news report on the Fifty relates that one of them told a Japanese official he was “not afraid to die” because “that was his job.” Most of them had family living near the reactor complex, but everyone within 20 miles has been evacuated. They fight now for the lives of people beyond the horizon.

Today the Tokyo Electric Power Company sent in another fifty technicians to provide reinforcements. The Japanese government is quietly worried about finding replacements for these people, if they are no longer able to perform their duties. Such courage is rare and priceless in any corner of the globe.

There has been a lot of hysterical media coverage of the Japanese nuclear crisis, but one thing is certain: the valiant efforts of these technicians have kept a lot of worst-case scenarios in check. The brightest moments in human history have occurred when too much was asked of brave men and women… and they gave even more. When the history of the twenty-first century is written, the Fukushima 50 will stand among its greatest heroes.

More video and pics HERE and HERE

from the first link above:
"I fought back tears when I heard that my father, who is to retire in six months, had volunteered," @NamicoAoto wrote. "At home, he doesn't seem like someone who could handle big jobs…but today, I was really proud of him," she wrote. "I pray for his safe return."
@nekkonekonyaa said her mother wept when her father left work to head to the nuclear plant. "Please dad come back alive," she said in her tweet.

Power plant employees were running out of food, read one e-mail from a worker's daughter.

"He says he's accepted his fate. Much like a death sentence," the e-mail said, which was read aloud on the national television network, NHK.



  2. Sweet stori. Good video and final rescue story on the Blaze.