Fukushima 50: True Heroes.

If you are reading these, then by now you should know that on March 11, 2011, Japan got hit by an 8.9 (some portal says 9.0) magnitude earthquake. And that earthquake is told to have triggered tsunami which swept the eastern coasts of Japan. But if you just knew it from me, that you’re one arrogant, ignorant asshole.

As if those disasters weren’t bad enough, a following horrid modern disaster followed up. The earthquake and tsunami have halted the operation of Fukushima I Nuclear Powerplant. To make it worse, the natural disasters seemed to have damaged the power grid supplying the plant. Thus, resulting in failure in reactor cooling system. After that, series of catastrophe happened. Until now, 3 out of 6 reactors have exploded. Though at first it could be contained, a radiation breakthrough is inevitable. Right now, the radiation level at the plant varies from 400-1000 mSv/hour, while the normal daily exposure we got is only 2.4 mSv/year or as little as 0.3 ┬ÁSv/hour.

Aerial Viiew of Fukushima I

But beyond this calamity, 50 workers (or in other reports, up to 180 workers working in shift of 50 men) stood up and entered the plant. Assigned or volunteered to remain on-site while other 800 workers were evacuated, they are assessing the damage done by the meltdown, cooling the damaged reactors with seawater, trying to stabilize the reactors, attempting to bring the reactors under control. In short, they are trying to save others’ life which would be in great hazard if the nuclear plant is abandoned. Japanese Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, expressed their great task and responsibility in his words: “You are the only ones who can resolve a crisis. Retreat is unthinkable.” And they are doing it, such is the dedication of the workers. Up until now, Japan (and the world) has lost two of these workers due to explosion and fire at Reactor No.4.

These workers are nicknamed “Fukushima 50” by Japan, and now by the world. For me, this is the true act of hero. These men dared to enter the plant, either by call of duty or call of heart. Either way, they’ve taken a step into such dangerous place, full of invisible danger: gamma rays. In that plant, they are exposed to a lifetime dose radiation received by a normal nuclear plant worker, in a matter of 20-30 minutes. Some of them already know that they have very high possibility of not making it out alive. And even if they made it out alive, they won’t be thrown a party, a parade, for people would still be afraid of any lingering radiation. And I know, they knew it better.

Brave, loyal, unselfish, and in the end, not thinking about the pride or acknowledgment they would receive. In my humble opinion, these GREAT men, these anonymous workers, the “Fukushima 50” are an ultimate, if not perfect, example of what the world should call TRUE HEROES.