Saturday, April 02, 2011

The Heroes of 2011: Japanese Nuclear Workers

2 April 2011

I've been following the New York Times Asia-Pacific page since the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

I wish to make one point. We knew from the start that the reactors would leak as a consequence of the damage from both an earthquake and a tsunami. Come on, nothing is built to withstand such dual forces of destruction.

And yes, there is serious local leakage of very poisonous and persistent radioactive substances - plutonium, iodine, cesium and more, and they will spread. It's horrible.

But we must remember that (1) nothing nuclear blew up or (fully) melted down and (2) nothing nuclear burned.

Yes, it's disastrous, unimaginable, really. But it could have been far, far worse.

I give full credit to the courageous frontline workers, who knew from the start they would be over-exposed to life-threatening radiation.

They did this for us, and I thank them for their sacrifice on our behalf. When Time Magazine chooses the "person" of the year this year, I hope they remember these workers!


  1. Definitely, they deserve this award and thanks from all over the world. I hope there will be continuing news about them to it is ensured they are well cared for after this all ends (which we hope it will)- Shelli

  2. Great post Laurence. I agree, they should be "person" of the year. Few people have the kind of courage that they had.

  3. I was reading more, something like 85% are contractors, who take on short-term positions for higher pay. It is amazing that they just do it. It would not be like that over here, I can tell you. Nor can I say that I would be willing to work on a glowing hot radioactive site. Very scary.

    If you've read my blog on Josh Tickell's "Fuel," there are enough alternative technologies out there that we probably don't really need nuclear power after all. We grow algae on sewage sludge and we're all set.....