The members of “Veteran Corps” are about 250, aged sixty years and more, ready to confront the risks of radiation at the plant in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear, damaged by the disaster of 11 March.
These men, engineers, doctors, and ordinary employees, responded to the call Yasuteru Yamada (72 years), retired engineer from Sumitomo Metal Industries: seeing on television employees who take turns each day to reactors 2 and 3 Where fuel rods are partially molten, Mr. Yamada thought he should do something.
“It’s absolutely not a suicide mission”, he said. We have maybe fifteen or twenty years to live: not enough to develop cancer due to radiation! ”
After his call, 247 retirees have come forward to express their sense of responsibility. And the “Veteran Corps” was born. The senior volunteers have made contact with politicians and Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), operator of the plant. But their proposal was not accepted.
The situation at the Fukushima plant is far from stable. TEPCO announced Sunday, June 5, sending trucks carrying 370 tanks to store tens of thousands of gallons of contaminated water that was poured to cool the reactors. These tanks have a total capacity of 40,000 tons. TEPCO, whose shares have fallen sharply (27.62%) after reports of massive losses, hopes to stabilize the reactor temperature below 100 ° C by January.
The elderly were the layer of the population most affected by the disaster. It is also a generation who knew the difficulties and sacrifices in the aftermath of World War II. The dedication of senior volunteers raised more admiration than politician. Thursday, June 2, a motion of censure was dismissed following a commitment by the Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, promised to retire in the coming months.
The political chaos has been felt with bitterness, if not anger, as every day men are risking their health in the cities, 100 000 people still live in shelters and disaster victims still digging the rubble in search of the remains of their loved ones.