Workers are risking their lives trying to keeps the fuel rods cool at the nuclear plants in Japan. There are a total of 180 workers at the damaged nuclear plant. Shifts of 50 people at a time enter the plant for work shirts. These employees, now known as the “Fukushima 50” are heroes.
Radioactive steam is coming out of some of the reactors. Thus the employees have already been subjected to unusually high levels of radiation exposure. They are working valiantly to try to prevent a nuclear meltdown.
‘Potentially Lethal Radiation’
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairperson, Gregory Jaczo, has stated that the workers in or near the plant are possibly being exposed to “potentially lethal doses of radiation, notes the Daily Mail According to the Science Ministry of Japan, the radiation levels inside the nuclear plant during a six-hour period are “the equivalent of the maximum safe level a person could absorb in a year,” notes the NY Post.
Japan has increased the acceptable level of radiation that the Fukushima 50 are exposed to while working. Radiation levels up to 500mSv are the new maximum amount of exposure allowed for the emergency workers, notes ABC News. It is not known if this level of radiation exposure will eventually cause fatal health problems.
Fukushima 50 Confined to Nuclear Plant
Even while off duty the 180 workers stay at the nuclear plants. They sleep and eat meals in room together, notes the NY Post. The atmosphere there is probably something no one outside the room can understand. A daughter of one of the workers released an email that said “My father is still working at the plant – they are running out of food… we think conditions are really tough. He says he’s accepted his fate … much like a death sentence,” reports ABC News.
The workers are covered by hazmat suits and are using oxygen tanks. They are risking their lives to try to save the people of Japan from a nuclear meltdown. They are very brave.
U.S.A. Needs Review of Nuclear Plant Issues
As the situation gets more perilous at the nuclear plants in Japan, it seems a good time for the government of our country to review nuclear plant guidelines here. Some issues that should be addressed include whether it is ever safe to put a nuclear reactor in a known earthquake zone. Also, it should be re-evaluated if nuclear plants need to be shut down in earthquake zones and areas near major cities. Also, as more energy opportunities become available such as solar power and wind turbines, is it worth the risk to allow new nuclear plants?
Prayers for Japan
Let’s hope that Japan is able to avoid a nuclear meltdown. It is beautiful to see how altruistic the nuclear employees are. The world is much more knowledgeable now about the possible risks of having nuclear plants in an earthquake zones. Let’s hope this type of situation never happens again.
New York Post