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The PJ Tatler

by
Charlie Martin

Bio

March 31, 2011 - 1:46 pm

More “radiation sickness” in the media:

Workers at the disaster-stricken Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan say they expect to die from radiation sickness as a result of their efforts to bring the reactors under control, the mother of one of the men tells Fox News.

The so-called Fukushima 50, the team of brave plant workers struggling to prevent a meltdown to four reactors critically damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, are being repeatedly exposed to dangerously high radioactive levels as they attempt to bring vital cooling systems back online.

Speaking tearfully through an interpreter by phone, the mother of a 32-year-old worker said: “My son and his colleagues have discussed it at length and they have committed themselves to die if necessary to save the nation.

Look, if you don’t know anything about a topic, don’t write a news story about it. Here you’ve got this poor hysterical little old lady; she’s scared, and no one can blame her. Especially if, God forbid, she reads the US press.

“He told me they have accepted they will all probably die from radiation sickness in the short term or cancer in the long-term.”

The woman spoke to Fox News on the condition of anonymity because, she said, plant workers had been asked by management not to communicate with the media or share details with family members in order to minimize public panic.

Does that surprise you? Remember what I said about “yamato gokoro”, “Japanese guts”?  But there’s much less chance of anyone dying of anything except plain mechanical industrial accidents, like the poor guy whose crane fell on him.

She could not confirm if her son or other workers were already suffering from radiation sickness. But she added: “They have concluded between themselves that it is inevitable some of them may die within weeks or months. They know it is impossible for them not to have been exposed to lethal doses of radiation.”

In other words, you called up some poor little old lady who is probably just seen her home washed away and and lost friends, family members, and pets, and got her crying on the phone to tell you that she’s frightened — but you don’t look at the mass of information that IAEA and TEPCO and the Japanese ministries and agencies involved have been releasing three or four times a day — to complaints they’re being “secretive”.  If you had, you’d know that the real radiation doses measured have been up to 17-18 rem “whole body dose” — with 100 rem being the level at which you get “radiation sickness”.  And the guys with burned feet?

The plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (or TEPCO), says medical teams conduct regular testing on the restoration workers for signs of contamination-related illness. It claims there have been no further cases following the three workers who were treated last week after coming into direct contact with radioactive water. There are no reports of new members of the Fukushima 50 developing radiation sickness.

Nor any old reports of anyone developing radiation sickness.

Although two suffered radiation burns to their legs and ankles and absorbed radiation internally, they have since been released from the hospital and are regularly being checked for signs of any deterioration in their condition, says TEPCO.

Back on the 28th (which was the 27th US time) NHK had already reported they’d been sent home with a clean bill of health.  No observable burns.

Charlie Martin writes on science, health, culture and technology for PJ Media. Follow his 13 week diet and exercise experiment on Facebook and at PJ Lifestyle
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