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3 Years Later: A Fukushima Worker's Eyewitness Story 148

Lasrick writes "Tuesday, March 11 is the 3rd anniversary of the Fukushima disaster. In this article, a worker at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station gives his eyewitness account of what happened there in the immediate wake of a massive earthquake and tsunami that caused three of the station's reactor cores to melt." The witness, says the story, "was promised anonymity as a condition of providing his account."
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3 Years Later: A Fukushima Worker's Eyewitness Story

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 09, 2014 @02:12PM (#46440537)

    cause hearing about it every fucking day distorts the age of the event

  • Summary (Score:4, Interesting)

    by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <> on Sunday March 09, 2014 @02:51PM (#46440715) Homepage Journal

    When the power went out things got difficult, communication became harder, the plant was already badly damaged. The tsunami made things a lot worse, and general confusion prevented people taking effective action. On paper it was a recoverable situation that should have been safely dealt with, in practice human nature doesn't cope well with this kind of crisis.

  • Re:fusion? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nojayuk ( 567177 ) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @03:19PM (#46440831)

    "areas where very destructive natural disasters are know to happen"

    That describes the entire nation of Japan pretty much. The earthquake and tsunami of 2011 isn't even the biggest natural disaster in Japan in the last hundred years, the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923 killed more than 100,000 people in Tokyo. The Kobe earthquake in 1995 killed about 5,000. The Japanese write books with titles like "Japan sinks!" and make animes like "Tokyo Magnitude 8.0" but they love their country even if it is actively trying to kill them.

    Next time you've got a half-day in Tokyo go over to the Metropolitan Towers, the city's local government building near Shinjiku. There's a free observation gallery you can visit on the 36th floor and on a clear day you can see Mount Fuji to the south-west. That's an active volcano, by the way, less than 100km from where 30-odd million people live and work. It's at the corner of three active tectonic plates, the source of the 1923 earthquake I mentioned.

    As for "areas where very destructive natural disasters are know to happen" why do people live in the Mississippi valley with its killer tornadoes (550 dead in 2011 alone)? Do Americans like taking risks that much?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 09, 2014 @05:01PM (#46441339)

    Or, we might look at the actual data instead of, you know, spilling bullshit. Oh there's none? No, quite the opposite, things get published all the time by scientists in some of the most prestigious venues, but these accounts are not publicized in the mass media, for they are not scary. So let's look at something from this year []. Conclusions? "The mean annual radiation dose rate in 2012 associated with the accident was 0.89-2.51 mSv/y" and "the extra lifetime integrated dose after 2012 is estimated to elevate lifetime risk of cancer incidence by a factor of 1.03 to 1.05 at most, which is unlikely to be epidemiologically detectable." Scary, right? They say that people do get an extra 3-5% chance of getting cancer, so "0.89-2.51 mSv/y" has to be huge, right? Well if you live in the US, as opposed to Japan, you are going to be getting 1.9 mSv/y more exposure, for there is more radon in the air in the US than there is in Japan []. And these are country-wide averages, so I am sure that in a country as vast as the US, in some places you will be exposing yourself to a significantly more radiation. This goes to say that if you don't worry about where you live in the world and don't know the local natural radon activity, you shouldn't be any more worried about the Fukushima accident. Not so scary after all? Well, the mass media thought so too, so they've kept silent. In all fairness, this data does not include radiation dosages from 2011, the year of the disaster, but the data shows that there is hardly any increase of mortality there, either []

    I live in the country with the freest press in the world [], so you'd expect there to be less fearmongering. Maybe so, but here's my story. On the day of the earthquake, I was in Fukushima, actually making my way through the city to Tokyo in order to fly back home. Granted, I was not near the coast, but that should hardly matter to ill-informed journalists. When I returned to my home country, the press were waiting for the passengers with video cameras, for the flight that I'd booked months ahead happened to be the first out of Tokyo. I was interviewed, and the journalists asked questions like "were you scared?" and "is it because of the nuclear threat that you flew out?", and my answers were quite categorically "no". Was my interview aired? Also no, but people who had left the country, even though they'd been visiting the southern parts and in no danger whatsoever spilled their guts and cried out of fear for the cameras, had their takes on the subject shown. Makes better TV, I'll have to give them that, but not a very objective one.

  • On the long run (Score:1, Interesting)

    by stooo ( 2202012 ) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @05:43PM (#46441561)

    >> A few dozen people might wind up with cancer someday because Japan uses nuclear power.

    Nope. The first years it was close to 600 in the direct vincinity:
    https://nuclearhistory.wordpre... []

    The number is not considering the widespread ingestion of contaminated agricultural produce, and is exponential over the years (or at least over the firt 300 years)

    On the long run, Fukushima takes more lives than the tsunami. Much more.

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. -- Elbert Hubbard