Engineer: Send elderly to clean up Fukushima

10 years ago by in Travel

Photo by Daveeza

Japan’s nuclear crisis should be tackled by veteran workers, particularly retired engineers, because they have the necessary skills and are less affected by radiation, a 72-year old Japanese man has suggested.

Repair or installation of the cooling system will unavoidably be conducted in an environment highly contaminated with radioactive elements, which come with a serious risk of future health complications, said Yastel Yamada, a former engineer and business consultant who now works as a volunteer with several NGOs.

He put together a web-page inviting senior engineers to join his project. The page is written in several languages, including English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish and, of course, Japanese.

“As such, young people with a long future should not have to be placed in a position of having to undertake such a task. Radiation exposure of a generation which may reproduce the next generation should be avoided, regardless of the amount,” he added.

Yamada thinks that his generation, who have “consciously or unconsciously approved the construction of the Fukushima nuclear power plants, […] in particular those of us who hailed the slogan that ‘Nuclear Power is Safe,’ should be the first to join the Skilled Veteran Corps to install or repair the cooling system.”

This suggestion, however, poses an ethical question for some. “Should we support an act of self-sacrifice for society? — a taboo topic in Japan after the World War II,” Yosuke Yanase, a linguist and English education researcher, writes on his blog. [Yastel Yamada’s project, Yosuke Yanase blog]