The "Fukushima Fifty"

Tyler Durden's picture

Whatever one thinks about the near-criminal strategy taking place behind the scenes as to how Japan is handling the bailout, one thing is certain: the 50 Tepco workers who are currently laboring at Fukushima, doing all they can to restore the plant back to life, even at the cost of their own lives, are doing a tremendous service to their fellow citizens (futile or otherwise), and deserve to be called heroes. The Mail has compiled what little information is available about these impromptu martyrs, of whom five are believed to have already died and 15 are injured while others have said they know the radiation will kill them, in a piece that everyone should read, especially those who are wondering just who it is that is doing everything in their power to offset Hitachi's criminal conduct in the construction of the power plant as disclosed earlier. "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."

Conundrum: Two of the Fukushima Fifty pour over plans as they try to work out how to fix the stricken plant
Darkness: A worker looks at gauges in the control room for Unit 1 and Unit 2 at the plant
Grainy: Workers collect data in the control room for Unit 1 and Unit 2. They must wear rubber suits to prevent as much radiation from entering their bodies as possible
Teamwork: Outside the men connect transmission lines to restore electric power supply to Unit 3 and Unit 4


Damage: A collapsed eave lies outside the security gate for Unit 1 and Unit 2. Much of the plant was destroyed by the tsunami

Water spray: Workers at Fukushima yesterday try to cool the plant

More from the Mail:
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.

Japan has rallied behind the workers with relatives telling of heart-breaking messages sent at the height of the crisis.

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.'

But it 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.

While only praise can be showered on these 50 or so volunteers for the true greater good, the biggest punishment possible should be doled out for those who knowingly let this catastrophe occur, if indeed corners were cut in the design of the NPP, and also for those who continue to lie to the population in an attempt to prevent a panic (yes, we have all heard the Mutual Assured Destruction lies of a government that does "what is best for everyone") while simply allowing an ever greater number of people to succumb to radiation poisoning or worse.

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prophet's picture

"Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano unveiled estimates that people outside of a 30-kilometer radius of the plant, in which residents have been ordered to evacuate or remain indoors, could be exposed to radiation of 100 millisieverts or more, an annual dose believed to be associated with an increased risk of cancer."

redpill's picture

"Today's fun fact: living near a coal power plant exposes you to roughly four times as much additional radiation as does living near a properly contained nuclear plant."

Thanks, Captain Irrelevant.  If this nuclear plant was "properly contained" we wouldn't be fucking discussing it, now would we.

clymer's picture

Max max max.. These rediculous posts are not going to bring you any closer to making a reality out of that Ann Coulter poster in your basement that you pleasure yourself to so frequently.

prophet's picture

Appreciate your comment, but the way you make your point is the point I've been trying to make:  We don't deal with this until its too late and then it fades from the agenda.

There is no amount of benefit that can outweigh this kind of risk.

TuffsNotEnuff's picture

You're getting scammed on the risk numbers.

Chernobyl had no containment -- after the big explosion -- and the reactor itself did a full meltdown. Yet we get this Dr Wotawa:

1. the iodine released from Fukushima in the first three-four days was about 20 percent of that released from Chernobyl during a ten-day period.

2. Caesium-137, ...50 percent.

That claim does not fit with SPEEDI readings made public. Not what I can find at their site or at If this isn't another faked BBC tweet, then the guy is incompetent.

Here's Edwin Lyman, Union of Concerned Scientists Global Security Program, and no friend of commercial nukes:

"One has to remember that there's still no evidence that the containment structures of the damaged (Fukushima) reactors 1, 2, and 3 have been significantly breached, which is a difference from Chernobyl where the confinement structure was destroyed in the very early stages of the accident."

The Fukushima containments are fully intact despite earthquake and tsunami damage to pipes and valves. That belies the Wotawa claim.

Then there is a claim that one worker has received a "high dose" of radiation. Here is the actual report:

The IAEA also had information about eighteen workers at the site which had been exposed to radiation since the accident, including one who got a dose rate of about [ 106,300,000 nanoSieverts ] although no medical treatment was required.

35,000,000 nanoSieverts (or nanoGrays) per year matches to the maximum recommended lab worker exposure. This is equal to 5 REM. 

The dose to this worker equals 3 times the IAEA recommended maximum annual dose.

Serious, yes. Deadly, no way. Obviously the guy is out of there.

No one is getting killed from radiation.

i-dog's picture

"The Fukushima containments are fully intact"

You can spout this propaganda with a straight face?!! Blind moron.

CPL's picture

Doesn't matter Red.  I'll be walking by your corpse in a couple of months and using your shit for fun.  You keep believing what you wish.


Problem with faith is it actually has to bring something eventually.  Hope your kids/cousins/grandkids die a horrible death coughing up blood and shitting themselves to death in a long wait at the hospital.


How's that for friendly?

Ident 7777 economy's picture

You realize, he (Red) was addressing Mad Max whose comment was down-rated so much that it disappeared ...

CPL's picture

I know.  I'm not a big fan of the human herd.  But these folks in the plants are sweating blood at this time.


The offer I mentioned at the bottom of the comments still stands.  Fully paid house and ten acres in the Ottawa Valley.  Even teach them how to duck taxes.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture


Would that not be great if Canada (or the US, yeah right...) would man up and offer the families of the stricken heroes a nice place to live for free for the rest of their lives.

I really do not know if I would be as brave as those guys, The Fukushima Fifty...

Dugald's picture

Right on!

To go into that situation in the full knowledge of what the end result will be.....That is 'True Grit'

philipitus's picture

Worked in one of these places (in Canada) years ago and had the run of the place.  Freakish enough when it was all working properly, checking yourself for contamination at each checkpoint (and laughing at the joint butts in the more remote areas).  Can't imagine the terror fishing around in the dark knowing that every second your lifespan is being unavoidably shortened.


Hats off and thank you.

Harlequin001's picture

Makes you wonder if the guy in charge is available in his office during normal working hours, or if he pissed off sharpish as soon as the klaxon went off...

I take my hat off to these guys.

Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

Max, not at these radiation levels. These people are dying in vain over there for their callous overlords you jack off. My junk was included.

Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

I am proud to take any junks here. Whoever you were f*ck off.

The Profit Prophet's picture

Mad're a piece of shit!!!!  Exactly what radiation levels are you reassuring people about????  The ones that the Japanese government is displaying in real time on the internet for all economically and socially important areas around the reactor and in Tokyo!!!???  It's funny....I haven't been able to find this information.

I'm beyond tired of bullshit propaganda and those who repeat it, so that rich men can try to retain wealth by sending poor men and the ignorant to their deaths.  This evil bullshit must end...and it will.....soon!

T.E.I.N. everyone!

steveo's picture

The first link down on my blog page here has a geiger counter in Tokyo on an office building, indeed showing an increase after the 21st spraying.

anyways's picture

well said! The Junkies are paid by the gov.

Robot Traders Mom's picture

Max you are indeed a jack-off. Even the trolls on here wouldn't say anything that stupid. You should seriously leave ZH forever. Seriously.

Calmyourself's picture

I think we are late to the kick Max's ass partaaae...  Reads like it went well though, plenty of ass kicked..  My prayers for these men.  The U.S. has forgotten what real heroes are, these boys fit the bill..

Ident 7777 economy's picture

Max hit the down-and-out Junk threshold of 50 ... so comment gets deep-sixed

Blano's picture

I didn't know that, thanks. 

Mad Max's picture

Yup, the herd of rabid sheep won this time.  No point listening to comments they don't want to hear.

Theta_Burn's picture

Iv'e never seen that many junks collected before, well done.

The theme of this thread was what again Max?

Mad Max's picture

The theme of the story is one thing.  The theme of this part of the comment thread is "junking comments you disagree with because they don't fit your narrow, media-driven worldview."

WaterWings's picture

Yes. Try to reassure yourself. You've been here long enough to know only true fucktards get that many junks. Congrats! It sure must be an honor.

Wish I could have seen the post for myself. It's mostly free speech around here.

Lord Koos's picture

This is the map to be looking at, not the wind currents:

This is not a government site, they have no agenda, etc. I've been watching it for a week, and it is gradually creeping up due to the disaster in Japan, however levels still remain very low.  If you guys are really worried then why don't you GTF out of dodge right now instead of typing on your keyboards?

ColonelCooper's picture

"If you guys are really worried then why don't you GTF out of dodge right now instead of typing on your keyboards?"

If I WAS worried, then where would I GTF to?  South America?  Do you understand that people can be pissed without being afraid?  There is no getting out.  That's why we're pissed.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

I agree with your sentiments, Colonel, but I´m in Peru right now (and for 10 days more).

¿Radiacion, que es eso, señor?

live free's picture

I've been sleeking around here for several years, and I think my family and I are ready to look at relocating from NH to a south american country.... Any advice on the area or job prospects?  Im a mechanical engineer in product development in the medical/consumer arena.  Thanks,


avonaltendorf's picture

If you want to continue in your profession, it will have to be a fairly big country: Brazil, Mexico. You should be able to speak the language (Portugese, Spanish). Engineering is a licensed profession in Central and South America. It would be best to work for a US multinational with offices in the country you want to live in. Intel has a factory in Costa Rica, for instance. The big problem will be work permit and/or residency for the family. Some countries have special rules for retirees with government pensions, also for inward investment if you have a couple million to work with. Before you go on a South American adventure, I highly recommend Australia and New Zealand. Check to see if your profession is in demand. There are good employment agencies and immigration agents to advise what's possible Down Under. Nicest people on the planet IMO. Excellent schools. Safe streets. Good food.

Matte_Black's picture

What is your Nobody credible thinks that the US is going to get nuked. The larger point, imo, is that a tragedy of unspeakable gravity is unfolding before our eyes.

Furthermore, what does it say that a handful of technically proficient finance geeks has done a better job of of predicting a critical path than nuclear plant managers have done?

My sphincter tells me that is bad news.

trav7777's picture


Nothing "Durden" has said or any of the smug "regulars" have maintained about this accident has come to pass.  Not a fucking thing.

It's been nonstop insinuation, omission, and yellow journalism, ironically the same thing as the TEPCO and Jap gov't are accused of.

In the absence of facts, they just highlight the negatives and let people who are essentially site astroturfers fill in the apocalypse.

Been a banner couple of weeks for ZH...surely they do this for free, right?

Chumbadumba's picture

You suck almost as much as "mad max".. Go back to cambodia, you racist pos


Jim in MN's picture

You mean the part where we said it's a terrible accident, but not yet an outright catastrophe?  Or the part where we said that sacrificing first responders was basically just keeping a finger in the dike?

I'm still pretty solid on the big picture we've painted here actually.  Although the cesium contamination is getting pretty bad. 

As are the atmospherics on the site...still, the best information by far.  Your input included, trav7777.  I think you know I don't give you shit--you're mostly on the ball.


Matte_Black's picture

Trend lines, baby boy.

Chart this one.

I guarantee Munich RE has done so.

Not good.

Mad Max's picture

There you go, bringing facts and reality into it again.

Once upon a time, ZH regulars cared about facts and reality.  Now it's like reading comments to yahoo news articles.

romanko's picture

don't even try with these dweebs - they've drank the nuclear-doomsday koolaid and have become fully accredited nuclear experts, and they didn't even have to leave their mom's basement

it's like some soviet youth pep-rally here, dare to disagree with the "consensus" and you'll be vilified, kinda ironic don't you think, ZH being part of the alternate media

WaterWings's picture

You and Trav must not read any of the articles anymore - straight to the comments. Measurements of cesium and Celsius must not mean anything to you two.

Mad Max's picture

Do you mean Caesium and Kelvin?  No, perhaps you mean Valium and Fahrenheit...

Guldbuddha's picture

I believe this chart is relevant here.

Just to put things in perspective.

That said, 100mSv and beyond, as a one-time dose, is not healthy.

Cash_is_Trash's picture

Damn. And the Japanese government played it down all along.

The bureaucrats should be cleaning up this mess if it weren't for the incompetence.

drchris's picture

I've seen this chart floating around.  It's claiming ~3.6mSv per day at Fukushima, which is nothing.  However, if that is the case, then how are workers dying?  You have to assume they are being treated for radiation sickness.  Therefore, they need at least an 4Sv dose.  That is over 100x the claim.  Something doesn't add up.  

Guldbuddha's picture

It's because you read the chart a bit too fast.

The ~3.6mSv you are refering to, is 50km (some 32 miles or so) NW of Fukushima, about a week ago.

It says nothing about the plant...

drchris's picture

Ah, you're right.  When I first read it I only saw "two sites" at Fukushima and thought it meant at two of the reactors.  My Bad!

The disclaimer at the bottom of the PNG basically states the author has 0 confidence in it dispite the sources.  So it has that going for it.

Piranhanoia's picture

The chart doesn't seem to be complete. Is it an advertisement or propaganda?