Fukushima 50’ risk lives to prevent meltdown
We do not know their names, their faces, their families or their personal stories. Nobody really does. They are strangers, in a faraway land, doing the unthinkable.
In Japan they have a name: The Fukushima 50. A coterie of nuclear plant employees — some reports indicate 50, others suggest four working rotations of 50 — who stayed behind while 700 of their co-workers were evacuated from the stricken Fukushima-Daiichi facility on the Japanese coast.
Five have been killed. Two are missing. Twenty-one have been injured in a struggle where, in the words of Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan, “retreat is unthinkable.”
The men understand the stakes. They know there is no turning back. One worker told a departing colleague he was prepared to die — that it was his job. Another informed his wife he wouldn’t be coming home anytime soon. Read the rest.
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Photo: A Japanese military twin-rotor cargo helicopter dumps water onto reactor no. 3 (C) at the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant on March 17, 2011. (NHK/AFP/Getty Images)