Tue Nov 27, 2012, 08:24 PM
The Straight Story (47,927 posts)
Heroes: not sure what other word fits right now
In Post-Fukushima Japan, Civil Society Turns up Heat on Officials
UNITED NATIONS, Nov 26 2012 (IPS) - For the former industrial engineer Yastel Yamada, retirement does not mean he intends to sit back. Instead, the 73-year-old and about 700 other skilled seniors across Japan are eager to volunteer to tackle the most dangerous part of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant cleanup and spare a younger generation from the effects of extreme radiation.
Yamada and his army of radiation Samaritans are among a growing number of civil society groups across Japan that are taking measures to inform the public about the lingering dangers of radiation and advocate for a stronger government response to the biggest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.
“By the time we develop cancer, we will be dead anyways,” Yamada told IPS, following a recent tour through the United States to promote the efforts of his organisation, the Skilled Veterans Corps for Fukushima (SVCF), to gain access to the site.
One of SVCF’s goals has been to build international political pressure to force the Japanese government to take charge of the disaster and bring global experts into the plant recovery process, which will take an estimated 20 years of ongoing cleanup and monitoring for up to 40.
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