|Fukushima Kamikaze, oil on paper, 83x60 cm|
The plight of Fukushima seems to have left our news services in recent weeks. I guess the TV channels figured it had lost its entertainment value as a modern-day disaster movie. The press too have moved on. There was a royal wedding, you know.
Fortunately Elizabeth Anderson's recent post on her blog brought the realities back into focus. She gave a link to an excellent update by Arnie Gunderson (Chief Nuclear Engineer) of fairewinds.com.
Reactor One is now known to be uncovered, exposed to the air. The radiation levels in Unit 1 are consequently at incredibly high levels for humans. At that level a person dies very quickly after 4 or 5 hours of exposure. You get sick after much much much less.
And here is the thing. They sent in some workers - to an uncovered core - to fit new gauges so that technicians can monitor the disaster. So who were those brave men who went in there to fit new gauges? How much radiation had those workers already absorbed over recent weeks?
Seems to me some of these men are on suicide missions for the nation. Fukushima kamikaze. Read about these Nuclear Ninja and their suicide mission here.
Gunderson also reports that meanwhile radiation has entered the sewerage system of a local town (contaminated ground water seeping into earthquake-cracked sewer pipes) while a high school in the area has told the kids they have to wear masks and long-sleeved shirts (to prevent skin burns) at all times. The school's parking lot has had the soil stripped because it was so contaminated that if the kids went outside they would be exposed to adult nuclear worker levels of radiation. The government's swift response? They increased the permissible dose of radiation for children - twenty-fold!
Where i come from they close schools when the flu gets bad.
I guess this what the Fukushima Kamikaze are willing to give their lives for - to do their duty as workers, to save school children, and just maybe, to yet save the day.