BBC wrap-up on Fukushima tragedy - could be worse than Chernobyl We Are Finished
And in the most ‘controversial chapter’ of the story, This World revealed that TEPCO sought to evacuate all of its employees from the plant. It was only through the persistence of the prime minister that a brave contingent of workers – the ‘Fukushima 50’ stayed.
‘If they withdrew, six reactors and seven fuel pools would be abandoned’, Kan told the programme. ‘Everything melts down. Radiation tens of times worse than Chernobyl will be scattered.’
TEPCO forbid its employees from speaking to the press. However, a few broke ranks to speak out about their fears.
‘Many of us thought of running away, but there was no escape. If you actually ran you would be exposed to radiation.’
In the end a group of firefighters succeeded in spraying the plant with water, to stop the spread of radioactive material and cool the reactors. They brought the radiation down from ‘dangerous levels’ so that people could return to the plant.
But it remains to be seen whether the radiation expelled will affect Japan in the years to come. And as prime minister Kan warned at the end of the programme, ‘When the world has 1000, 2000, 3000 nuclear plants, can we call that a safe world to live in?’
Watch the full programme here. (not outside of uk)
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