Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Excellent article on how working conditions are deteriorating at Fukushima Dai-ichi

Here's part of a recent testimonial from a veteran worker at the plant. From Mainichi Japan:

"Safety rules and procedures at the stricken Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant are being gradually relaxed, spreading anxiety and confusion amongst workers, according to a worker at the plant.

He says now that the weather has grown warmer, wearing the full set of protective equipment, mask and all, is "like wearing a sauna suit." After a while, sweat a few centimeters deep collects in the mask, and "many people have collapsed from heat exhaustion."

"We were told that if we start feeling like we can't take the heat anymore, we should 'squat, calm down and breathe deeply.' Really, though, the limit is only about two to three hours. Once summer comes, things will be even tougher," he said.

"Right now anything goes, because what's considered most important is to stop the situation at the plant from getting worse, even if that means some smaller things get overlooked," said the worker. He added, however, "It's frightening. I wonder how much radiation I'll be exposed to from here on.""

In any war, good morale is a crucial factor in achieving victory, and that's what worries me here.  Success will have to come by means of a sense of duty, because it doesn't seem like they can pay these guys enough.

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