The Fukushima 50 are fifty workers who have volunteered to man their posts inside the Japanese nuclear reactors harmed in last week’s earthquake and tsunami, in an attempt to stop a possible nuclear event that could harm and kill thousands of innocent citizens. These workers have gone to work, knowing that they are risking their lives to do so.
The amount of radiation exposure that these workers are walking into there may kill them. They know this. They’re going to work anyway.
All Around the World, Eyes are on the Fukushima 50.
News media, twitter tweets, and blog posts (like this one) are all monitoring what is happening to these fifty brave souls. ABCNews reports on the daughter of one worker, who tweets as @nekkonekonyaa. She’s praying for her father – and you can follow her tweets here if you’d like (though she writes in Japanese, of course, and you’ll need to use an online translator like Google Translate).
We don’t know their names. The Japanese Government hasn’t released their identities.
We do know that the longer that the crisis continues, the more danger they face. Within the last hour of this post, Bloomberg reports that the Tokyo Electric Power Company isn’t vested in keeping the worldwide news organizations up to date with information on what’s going on inside these reactors. The Hindustan Times tells us that the efforts to cool things down with sea water may or may not be working — and that the workers are becoming increasingly at risk for harm.
Workers in Our Mills and Mines Understand This Situation Better Than Most
Here in our community, we have friends, family, neighbors, or colleagues that know this kind of life and death scenario all too well. Every day, working stiffs throughout Illinois and Indiana march into mills and mines knowing that they enter some of the most dangerous working conditions in America.
The American miner, in particular, knows the dedication that the Fukushima 50 are exemplifying. The miners that work to fill our energy needs here have faced, and are ready to face, cave-ins and exposures that may cost them their lives. And they, too, go to work every day with dignity, integrity, and honor.
We salute them, and we feel honored to have been chosen to represent them and their loved ones when the need arises.
And today, we also salute the Fukushima 50. May they be safe. May their families be comforted. May they come out of this alive.