Wednesday, March 16, 2011

the very best that humanity has to offer....,

Video - 50 exemplars give everything to protect their countrymen from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station

NYTimes | A small crew of technicians, braving radiation and fire, became the only people remaining at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station on Tuesday — and perhaps Japan’s last chance of preventing a broader nuclear catastrophe.

They crawl through labyrinths of equipment in utter darkness pierced only by their flashlights, listening for periodic explosions as hydrogen gas escaping from crippled reactors ignites on contact with air.

They breathe through uncomfortable respirators or carry heavy oxygen tanks on their backs. They wear white, full-body jumpsuits with snug-fitting hoods that provide scant protection from the invisible radiation sleeting through their bodies.

They are the faceless 50, the unnamed operators who stayed behind. They have volunteered, or been assigned, to pump seawater on dangerously exposed nuclear fuel, already thought to be partly melting and spewing radioactive material, to prevent full meltdowns that could throw thousands of tons of radioactive dust high into the air and imperil millions of their compatriots.

They struggled on Tuesday and Wednesday to keep hundreds of gallons of seawater a minute flowing through temporary fire pumps into the three stricken reactors, Nos. 1, 2 and 3. Among the many problems they faced was what appeared to be yet another fire at the plant.

The workers are being asked to make escalating — and perhaps existential — sacrifices that so far are being only implicitly acknowledged: Japan’s Health Ministry said Tuesday it was raising the legal limit on the amount of radiation to which each worker could be exposed, to 250 millisieverts from 100 millisieverts, five times the maximum exposure permitted for American nuclear plant workers.


Temple3 said...

Thanks for this one.

umbrarchist said...

Governments are so fucking intelligent!

Like physics and biology give a damn about legal limits.

Those bureaucrats need to have the shit slapped out of them.

CNu said...

Japan can sustain a population of ~28 million people (within the limits of its own geographic ecological footprint).

Japan has a population of ~128 million people. Making it an ecological debtor nation, but not a worse offender than the U.S. or any other member of the global human-industrial ecosystem or dopamine hegemony. In comparative terms, I believe that Japan is exponentially more conservative than any of its cousins in the global dopamine hegemony, i.e., making the most of what it has and of what it takes.

These are the limits that we all need to be mindful of. These are the limits that will prove determinative of where and when WW-III jumps off and whether it can be contained or whether it becomes our species Great Filter.

My prayers and utmost respect are with the 50 making the ultimate sacrifice. We should all aspire to such magnificence...,

Big Don said...

"My prayers and utmost respect are with the 50 making the ultimate sacrifice"

CNu, since you are apparently into praying, might interest you in some of the other ongoing prayers...

What Has Robbed The American People Of Their Outwardly Expressed Religion?

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