March 16th, 2011
06:00 PM ET

Praise for 'heroes' working to avert Japan's nuclear catastrophe

Bryony Jones
for CNN

(CNN) - As the rest of the world waits to see if Japan can avert a nuclear catastrophe, a small band of experts is putting their lives at risk to prevent the disaster.

Thousands of people living near the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have been evacuated from their homes because of the risk of radiation leaks from reactors damaged by last week's devastating earthquake and tsunami.

But while most hurry in the opposite direction, about 180 plant workers are staying put - despite the fact that doing so could result in serious illness or even death - to battle the meltdown threat.

"The workers at this site are involved in a heroic endeavor," former U.S. Department of Energy Official Robert Alvarez told CNN.

"There is at least fragmentary evidence that in some places on this site there are life-threatening doses of radiation. I think they are doing enormously heroic work."

The workers left at the site are said to be highly trained and experienced nuclear operators, engineers and safety staff with highly specialized knowledge.

Richard Wakeford, of the Dalton Nuclear Institute at the University of Manchester, said for many of them - despite the highly unusual and potentially dangerous circumstances - it will be just another day at the office.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. May

    Such heroes- the world sends their love and prayers. I wish we could use robots or something to carry the water close to the reactors instead...
    God bless these workers.

    March 17, 2011 at 2:22 am |
  2. Paul

    If power is a problem to get cooling pumps running, why have they not flown generators in to accommodate. They come in wide variety of sizes and can be quite portable. How much water is in a reactor? And holding tank for used rods?

    March 16, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
  3. Chris in Key West

    I want to see the faces, read the names and hear the stories of the people who are putting their lives on the line to save millions of people. They deserve to see and hear their tribute and our praise while they are still alive.

    March 16, 2011 at 8:42 pm |