Brad DeLong has had very interesting coverage of this terrible situation. Hats off to him.
Matt Blake of the Daily Mail writes:
Fukushima Fifty: First pictures emerge from inside Japan’s stricken nuclear power plant: The darkness is broken only by the flashing torchlight of the heroes who stayed behind. These first images of inside the stricken Fukushima Dai-Ichi power plant reveal the terrifying conditions under which the brave men work to save their nation from full nuclear meltdown. The Fukushima Fifty – an anonymous band of lower and mid-level managers – have battled around the clock to cool overheating reactors and spent fuel rods since the disaster on March 11.
Despite sweltering heat from the damaged reactors, they must work in protective bodysuits to protect their skin from the poisonous radioactive particles that fill the air around them. But as more radiation seeps into the atmosphere minute by minute, they know this job will be their last. Five are believed to have already died and 15 are injured while others have said they know the radiation will kill them.
The original 50 brave souls were later joined by 150 colleagues and rotated in teams to limit their exposure to the radiation spewing from over-heating spent fuel rods after a series of explosions at the site. They were today joined by scores more workers….
A woman said her husband continued to work while fully aware he was being bombarded with radiation. In a heartbreaking email, he told his wife: ‘Please continue to live well, I cannot be home for a while.’ One girl tweeted in a message translated by ABC: ‘My dad went to the nuclear plant, I’ve never seen my mother cry so hard. People at the plant are struggling, sacrificing themselves to protect you. Please dad come back alive.’…
[I]t is becoming even more pressing that the Fukushima succeed after it was revealed today that Tokyo’s tap water has been contaminated by unusual levels of radiation. The government have issued a warning to all mothers urging them not to let babies drink the tap water…. And fresh safety concerns arose today as black smoke was spotted emerging from Unit 3 of the plant, prompting a temporary evacuation of all workers from the complex, operators Tokyo Electric Power company said….
The IAEA lacks data on the temperatures of the spent fuel pools of reactors 1, 3 and 4 at Fukushima…
The Fukushima Fifty…
J. Bradford DeLong
Thu, 24 Mar 2011 00:00:32 GMT