Guardian on Fukushima Workers: We felt like kamikaze pilots — “Acute radiation sickness” ever-present danger

Published: January 11th, 2013 at 10:31 am ET
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Title: Fukushima 50: ‘We felt like kamikaze pilots ready to sacrifice everything’
Source: guardian.co.uk
Author: Justin McCurry
Date: 11 January 2013 08.11 EST

[... Atsufumi] Yoshizawa says the hardest part of his job was sending junior colleagues into dangerous situations. The plant was frequently rocked by strong aftershocks, and the proximity of so much water to electrical equipment was an ever-present danger, as was the risk of acute radiation sickness.

[...] “We felt like members of the Tokkotai (the kamikaze pilots of the second world war) in that we were prepared to sacrifice everything,” he says. [...]

The long working hours, combined with a poor diet and sleep deprivation, took their toll on his health. He lost a lot of weight and his blood pressure soared. [...]

Yoshizawa declined to divulge his internal radiation levels. They are abnormal, he admits, but not so high that he can never work at a nuclear power plant again. “I am not worried about my health.” [...]

See also: Asahi: Fukushima workers report exploitation -- Told to be like kamikaze -- Large numbers leaving -- "I wonder if we can raise children"

Published: January 11th, 2013 at 10:31 am ET
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