Skip to main content

Stand and Salute the Fukushima 50

Stand and salute:

As a result, plant workers, emergency services personnel and scientists have been battling for the past week to restore the pumping of water to the Fukushima nuclear plant and to prevent a meltdown at one of the reactors. A team of about 300 workers – wearing masks, goggles and protective suits sealed with duct tape and known as the Fukushima 50 because they work in shifts of 50-strong groups – have captured the attention of the Japanese who have taken heart from the toil inside the wrecked atom plant. "My eyes well with tears at the thought of the work they are doing," Kazuya Aoki, a safety official at Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, told Reuters.

Eyes will well. More:

Little is known about this band of heroes, except for the few whose relatives have spoken to the Japanese media. One woman said that her father, who had worked for an electricity company for 40 years and who was due to retire in September, had volunteered. "I feel it's my mission to help," he told his daughter.

Some more:

"We all support them and want them to be successful," said Shinichi, 34, a banker who gave only his first name as he waited in line to buy gas for company vehicles in Tagajo, about 70 miles north of the battle to save the reactors. "They're probably the 50 hardest-working people in the world right now. But I'd do the same thing."

More:

As the Japanese are tested with disasters beyond their imagining, many see the bravery of the Faceless 50 [the L.A. Times version of the Fukushima 50] as the epitome of group responsibility, known as Yamato-damashi, or Japanese spirit. That collective consciousness is almost second nature to the Japanese, Shinichi said, especially in times of crisis.

"This is our Yamato spirit," he said. "We don't understand where it comes from. But we all have it."

---

A Fukushima Daiichi worker named Michiko Otsuki posted this:

People have been flaming Tepco. But the staff of Tepco have refused to flee, and continue to work even at the peril of their own lives. Please stop attacking us.

I realized as I collected information for this post that I was choking up as I did so. Consider how many of these workers have lost family and friends to the earthquake and tsunami. Think what they have to go home to now - if they even have homes anymore.

So I said to myself, Go ahead and cry. I thought, It doesn’t change a thing.

The Japanese are a beautiful people in a ravaged world. I gave a little more money to relief because that’s about all I can do.

Stand and salute the Fukushima 50. It’s the least you can do.

Comments

Thank you for this report.

Sincerely, Suzy Hobbs
We share your support!

Show your support by liking Fukushima 50 facebook fan page!

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Support-the-Fukushima-50-Heroes/208918292458045

Cam Abernethy
NuclearStreet.com
Sari said…
Hello from Tokyo, Japan. I feel so much more gratitude to those brave staffs than words can say. Would you also give credit to the fire fighters and SDF members who are risking their lives and health trying to get water into the reactor system using helicopters and fire fighting vehicles.

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Nuclear Is a Long-Term Investment for Ohio that Will Pay Big

With 50 different state legislative calendars, more than half of them adjourn by June, and those still in session throughout the year usually take a recess in the summer. So springtime is prime time for state legislative activity. In the next few weeks, legislatures are hosting hearings and calling for votes on bills that have been battered back and forth in the capital halls.

On Tuesday, The Ohio Public Utilities Committee hosted its third round of hearings on the Zero Emissions Nuclear Resources Program, House Bill 178, and NEI’s Maria Korsnick testified before a jam-packed room of legislators.


Washingtonians parachuting into state debates can be a tricky platform, but in this case, Maria’s remarks provided national perspective that put the Ohio conundrum into context. At the heart of this debate is the impact nuclear plants have on local jobs and the local economy, and that nuclear assets should be viewed as “long-term investments” for the state. Of course, clean air and electrons …