Thursday, March 17, 2011

Last defense for troubled reactors: 50 Japanese workers

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A small crew of technicians, withstand radiation and fire, was the only people on Tuesday in Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station remaining - and perhaps Japan's last chance to prevent a wider nuclear disaster.

Traditional forms of disaster assistance may interfere only recovery efforts. What will work instead?

You crawl through mazes of devices in complete darkness punctured only by their torches, hear escape for periodic explosions as hydrogen gas reactors in contact verkruppelten with air ignites.

You breathe through uncomfortable to wear respirators or heavy oxygen tanks on the back. You wear white hoods that little protection against the invisible radiation sleeting through their body, whole-body jumpsuits with snug fitting.

You are retarded that the faceless 50, the unnamed operators. You have voluntarily, or assigned to sea water on dangerous pump was thought exposed to nuclear fuel, are partially melt and spew radioactive material, to prevent complete meltdowns, throwing thousands of tons of highly radioactive dust in the air and could endanger millions of their compatriots.

It fought on Tuesday and Wednesday, hundreds of liters seawater to keep a minute by temporary fire pumps flows in the three affected reactors, no. 1, 2 and 3. Among the many problems that officials confirmed on Wednesday, which was seem to yet another fire at the plant and indications that the ship may have broken a containment around the reactor. Was this reactor, no. 3, released radioactive steam release.

The workers are invited to make escalation - and victims, which is so far only implicitly confirmed are perhaps existential: Japan's Ministry of Health said Tuesday it was the permitted increase to the amount of radiation that each worker exposed to could, 250 millisieverts of 100 millisieverts, five times the maximum exposure allows for American nuclear workers.

The change means, that workers on site longer, now can remain the Ministry said. "It unthinkable, further than that, taking into account the health of workers to increase it would, said Health Minister, Yoko Komiyama, at a press conference." There was also a proposal on Wednesday, that can be loaded more workers to save the power plant.

Tokyo electric power, the plant operator, has nearly said nothing at all about the workers, such as long a workers including exposure is expected to bear.

The few details Tokyo Electric has made a dire image paint available. Five workers died since have been infringed the Quake and 22 more for various reasons, while two are missing. A worker was to suddenly his chest grab and are hospitalized not stand, and a further necessary treatment after receiving a blast of radiation close to a damaged reactor in the hospital. Eleven workers were injured in a hydrogen explosion in the reactor No. 3.

Nuclear reactor operators say that by the same kind of esprit de corps was under the fire fighters and military elite units their profession is marked. Canteen talks at reactors in turn often to what would do operators in a serious emergency.

The consensus is always that they would warn their families to flee before the stay in their posts at the end, Michael Friedlander, a former senior operator said on three American power plants for a total of 13 years.

"You are certainly concerned about the health and safety of your family, but you have an obligation to stay with the establishment of" he said. "There is a sense of loyalty and companionship if you have trained with guys, you did shifts with them for years."

In addition to this natural bonding, jobs in Japan give identity, inspired command loyalty and a sense particularly passionate commitment. Economic straits have chipped away at the sacred thought lifelong employment for many Japanese, but work remains a potent source of the community. Mr. Friedlander said, that he no doubt, which in an identical accident in the United States, 50 voluntary found behind stay after all others by an extremely dangerous environment evacuated. But Japanese are to be believed that individuals to the benefit of the sacrifice of the group.

Keith Bradsher reported from Hong Kong and Hiroko Tabuchi from Tokyo. Denise Grady contributed reporting from New York and Matthew L. Wald from Washington.

This article was revised and according to the following correction:

Correction: 16 March 2011

A news alert: connected with an earlier version of this article, referring to an English translation of the speech by Japan's chief Cabinet Secretary, was incorrectly, that workers from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station had been evacuated. A core group of workers remained at the plant.

View the original article here

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