The Prometheus Trap / The Researcher’s Resignation, AJW by The Asahi Shimbun, Takaaki Yorimitsu and Kentaro Uechi, December 31, 2011:
Shinzo Kimura, 44, a researcher and an expert in radiation hygiene at the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health involved in studies on the radiation exposure of physicians and nurses, and on-site investigations of the Chernobyl accident
[...] The next day, March 12, was a Saturday. He was able to see his family and went shopping with his 3-year-old son in the afternoon. When he returned home, his wife told him, “There’s been an explosion at the nuclear power plant.” Kimura flew into action. He changed into a suit and told his son, “Daddy will be gone for a while.” [...]
While hurriedly getting ready, Kimura sent e-mails to the four researchers he most trusted, Tetsuji Imanaka and Hiroaki Koide, both at Kyoto University; Toshihiro Takatsuji at Nagasaki University; and Satoru Endo at Hiroshima University. [...]
Kimura [...] received a mass e-mail on his cellphone from the institute, which is an independent administrative institution under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. The message stated, “Although there are many actions that can be taken, such as measuring radioactivity and other substances, please abide by the instructions given by this ministry and the institute. Do not take any unauthorized action.”
Kimura was the only expert on radioactivity at the [National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health]. He was sure the e-mail was meant for him. He understood that it was sent out to stop him from going to the site.
Published: December 31st, 2011 at 9:59 am ET