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Fukushima worker speaks of battle to contain crisis

Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 - 01:23

March 6 - Atsufumi Yoshizawa, one of the 'Fukushima 50', speaks of his sense of duty at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, after he and his colleagues stayed behind to stabilise the plant following the March 11, 2011 quake and tsunami. Sarah Sheffer reports.

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As nuclear reactors went into meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant following the March 11, 2011 tsunami, catastrophe loomed and thousands fled. One of the few that stayed at his post was Atsufumi Yoshizawa, part of a largely anonymous corps of workers, lauded as the 'Fukushima 50.' In a rare interview he recalled what made him stay behind. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) GENERAL MANAGER OF NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE DEPARTMENT,TOKYO ELECTRIC POWER COMPANY (TEPCO), 54-YEAR-OLD ATSUFUMI YOSHIZAWA, SAYING: "We had a strong sense of duty -- we knew if we didn't stay, there wouldn't have been anyone else who could've sorted it out." Most of the workers at the plant that day left their posts behind amid one of the worst radiation leaks in history. But those who stayed behind fought a frantic battle to cool the reactors. But two years on, Fukushima Daiichi and the area around it still resembles a vast wasteland, with high radiation levels hampering a cleanup that is expected to take decades. It's a stark reality that Yoshizawa says dampens the high praise bestowed on him by the international media. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) GENERAL MANAGER OF NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE DEPARTMENT,TOKYO ELECTRIC POWER COMPANY (TEPCO), 54-YEAR-OLD ATSUFUMI YOSHIZAWA, SAYING: "I don't think we're heroes at all. We were simply doing our job when a massive crisis hit our place of work." Even now most of the workers who stayed behind are unknown.

Fukushima worker speaks of battle to contain crisis

Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 - 01:23

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