“What’s in Store for Japan’s Embattled Nuclear Workers?” via TIME.com

As more details emerge from inside the evacuation zone in Fukushima, it’s becoming more and more evident that workers at the Daiichi power plant, feted as heroes since the early days of Japan’s nuclear crisis, will be bearing their burden for years to come.

Tepco gave its workers the option not to go to Fukushima days after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami damaged the plant, but most chose to, earning them accolades from across the globe for selflessly exposing themselves to dangerous levels of radiation to stop an international catastrophe in the making. The teams that went in during the first days to reestablish the electricity have now been replaced by workers faced with what is looking like an increasingly Sisyphean task of keeping the plant’s fuel rods cool. For these teams there is, quite literally, no end in sight.

As if that prospect weren’t bad enough, and as the dangers they face seem to get worse by the day, the basic conditions in which they’re living and working are also inexcusably bad – a high-stakes mirror of the larger state of affairs endured by hundreds of thousands of homeless and refugees in Japan’s triple disaster.

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