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Elderly volunteers to help Fukushima nuclear cleanup via The Japan Times online

Yasuteru Yamada, 72, a former antinuclear activist, will lead a group of retirees to the Fukushima No. 1 plant in early July to help clean up the site of Japan’s worst atomic disaster since World War II.

Yamada, a retired Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd. plant engineer, is waiting for Tokyo Electric Power Co. to allow his volunteer Skilled Veterans Corps to carry out on-site preliminary inspections, a move the government welcomes.

Almost four months since the crisis started, 3,514 workers involved in the cleanup have been exposed to radiation, including nine whose readings breached the annual limit of 250 millisieverts for a nuclear plant worker. Tepco said it had 1,044 workers at the plant as of June 19, about half the number a month earlier.

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  1. norma field says

    This is one of the few articles on the “Skilled Veterans Corps” that suggests a historical reason for the corps group’s embarking on this project. The interview at http://iwakamiyasumi.com/archives/9034
    (in Japanese) is illuminating. It refers to the shared experience of opposing the 1960 Ampo (US-Japan Security Treaty). It also refers to Mr. Yamada’s exchange with someone asking what it meant to “support” the Corps while being unwilling to put his life on the line: “please think about how you will live the rest of your life.”



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