Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Rescue Squad Member Died from Renal Failure 3 Months After He Was Found with Internal Radiation Exposure

A woman in a public forum asked a question to the two panelists: Why did my friend die?

The event was held in Sapporo City on November 6, 2011.

Her friend was a member of the special rescue unit of the Fire Department (probably in Osaka) who was sent numerous times to the disaster-affected areas in Fukushima and Iwate for the rescue effort. In July, he was found with internal radiation exposure, but he had to continue working. His employer kept sending him and his colleagues to the disaster area even after the internal radiation exposure was found in them.

She says that they got sick and they had to quit. But that was after they were berated by their superior as "unpatriotic". Her friend died in 3 months after having been found with internal radiation exposure.

Good lord.

There were many, many untrained, ordinary citizens who went to Fukushima, Miyagi, and Iwate as volunteers for disaster relief. Now, Fukushima Prefecture is calling for citizen volunteers to come and decontaminate their heavily contaminated towns.

Translation and captioning by Tokyo Brown Tabby:


(Transcript)

On October 26, a friend of mine in Osaka passed away. He was a rescue squad member and had been sent to work in disaster-affected areas for a long time, such as Iwate or Fukushima.

In July, he was found to have been internally exposed to radiation. All his team members had been, too. But their mission didn't end. Rescue people are those who went through very hard training and have a strong will to do something for the sake of others. So they continued to carry out their mission, even though they knew they had been exposed to radiation.

Eventually they got sick and realized they couldn't continue their duties any more. All the team members including him quit the rescue squad. Before they quit, they had been condemned by their supervisors as unpatriotic.

In a little more than 3 months since his internal exposure was found in July, my friend vomited blood frequently and finally died of renal failure.

Those people who are in charge of debris disposal or something like that...Can't they do it safely? I just don't understand why people who serve us have to lose their lives like this. But we can't do it by ourselves, can we? What do you think? This is what I wanted to ask you.

Maybe difficult...Simply...you know, simply generating electricity exposes workers to radiation. They have to enter various places for maintenance work and all. Nuclear power makes up less than 30% of our whole electricity generation, sacrificing the health of such people. I wonder what it is for.

Why won't they abandon it when other methods can compensate for its absence? Even when such a terrible disaster occurred? After all, it's clear that they do nothing to take care of the aftermath. Nothing. Neither TEPCO nor the government.

That's why nuclear electricity is said to be cheap. Of course it's cheap, because they do nothing even when a worst-case scenario happens. Doing nothing costs nothing.

Doctor...excuse me, Dr. Sakiyama, is it difficult for those people who touch debris or other radioactive things to work safely?

(Use this wired microphone...)

You don't need to stand up, please remain seated.

Well, if they wore something like space suits, they might be protected. But then they wouldn't be able to move around to do the work.

It's not just a problem for people in charge of debris disposal, but also for workers at the site of Fukushima-1 plant. As you know, their exposure limit has been raised from the original 100 millisievert to 250. Without their efforts, nobody knows what will become of the plant. We depend upon them, heavily. And even when there is no accident, nuke plants are only made possible by their labor that involves radiation exposure. Dr. Koide often refers to it as "built on the structure of discrimination."

We have been wrong in letting it be this way for a long time. Now I'm really not sure what to do.

Dr. Sakiyama cunningly switched the subject to the Fukushima plant workers, but the issue here is not the plant workers. It's the rescue squad members, it's the volunteers, it's the residents, who have been exposed, willing or not, to radiation that could kill over time, and who are without any shred of safeguard for their health. If they die, it is because of "stress". But at least she candidly admits that she doesn't know what to do.

Dr. Hisako Sakiyama is a specialist in radiation exposure and ex-chief researcher at National Institute of Radiological Sciences.

7 comments:

Darth3/11 said...

First of many to come. Many.

no6ody said...

I'm nearly speechless. This is how 'they' treat people who literally gave their lives to help others after a disaster caused by Tepco cost-cutting and an earthquake? Not even a nice speech and a shiny bit of metal on a ribbon? I wonder how much longer the people there will let TPTB treat them like a used facial tissue.

Anonymous said...

It discrimination. Just look back at history and WWII and the way people were treated in the "medical experiment" by the Japan. They were injected with infectious materials, and then when they got sick..THEY WERE VIVISECTED (CUT UP ALIVE) --IN PAIN, SCREAMING. It was a medical experiment on the stages of disease! Sounds familar like the Fukushima Medical study. How are the workers treated? or NOT treated to learn about radiation damage? Is history being repeated with a large section of the Japanese population?

Its discrimination when one section of society is considers less important than another by reason of birth or wealth or political association.

Anonymous said...

I think your talking about Unit 751 anonymous. I think a better correlation would be to draw on minamata bay where they were dumping huge quantities of methyl-mercury into the waters where it bio-accumulated up the food chain and people started getting Itai Itai disease or 'break bone fever'. That went on for a long period of time before government recognition.

Anonymous said...

This most likely is not accurate. There is no way that a rescue worker would have been exposed to a lethal radiation dose. They were not close to the reactors. Who is the worker and where is their death certificate? DUStory-owner@yahoogroups.com

Anonymous said...

I think that's why the panelists tried to change the subject. If a rescue worker died from radiation, the press would be all over it. They are reporting every death and injury at the plant, and you can bet that a story this powerful would not be ignored. But more importantly, if a rescue team is exposed to deadly radiation, its unlikely that just one person from the team would die in three months, and the rest would be unscathed.

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