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Japan hails heroes of nuclear workers

03-19-2011 14:13 BJT Special Report:9.0 Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Japan |

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At least 50 specialists are working shifts at the Fukushima power plant, trying to save the country from it's worst ever nuclear crisis. Another 139 specially trained firefighters are on their way, hoping to cool the plant's troubled Number 3 reactor.

They're being seen as heroes in Japan but for their families, it's an extremely worrying time. Matt Stuttard takes a closer look at these modern-day Samurai.

Each firefighter volunteered for the dangerous mission.

Yuji Arai, Chief of Tokyo Fire Department, said, "We expect a lot difficulties with the mission we've been given. It's a really dangerous assignment. The reputation of Japan and the lives of many people rest on your actions."

They are joining the 50 personnel already based at the plant.

They've been dubbed the "suicide squad".

In their battle to cool overheating fuel at the plant and avert more explosions, they've been exposed to radiation a thousand times higher than normal levels.

They're being rotated, and often spend only 10 to 15 minutes inside the reactor buildings at a time, to limit their exposure.

The environment is in total darkness.

One girl whose father is working at the site posted on social networking site Twitter that she had never heard her mother cry so hard.

She wrote please dad, come back alive.

Another woman tweeted that her father had volunteered for the duty. She said he is due to retire in just 6 months.

Norie Igarashi said, "They've really been given a hard lot. But the whole world, not just Japan, is depending on them, so I really don't know how to describe my feelings."

Meanwhile, the Tokyo Fire Department team is expected to begin work at the Number 3 reactor on Friday afternoon.

Japan Self Defense Force fire crews, including airport fire units, are also in action at the nuclear plant.

Editor:Zhang Jingya |Source: CNTV.CN

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