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March 16th, 2011
01:43 PM ET

Risking lives to avert meltdown

At the Fukushima Daiichi power plant 180 workers face the monumental job of keeping a nuclear crisis from becoming a catastrophe.

Filed under: Anchors • CNN Newsroom • Suzanne Malveaux
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. William Miller

    Being a former firefighter I understand the mentality of the people at the reactor they know they are fighting a loosing battle. They are aware of this, but who else is going to do it? They like the firefighters of 9-11 know they are sacrificing themselves in the hopes of saving as many people as they can. We should honor them by taking advantage of their sacrifice and getting as far away as possible before the inevitable. They are not doing this to save a nuclear reactor but for their friends and neighbors.

    March 16, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  2. Troy

    First my heart go's to all of those supporting and helping with the disaster in Japan right now. I was wondering if it was possible to mix dirt and lead together and put that on the spent reactor cells to contain the radiation rather then sea water until it is safe to go in and assess the problem? Don't seawater contain more salt in it then normal ocean water and wouldn't the salt content make the spent reactor cells hotter after the h2o if evaporated ? These are questions that I have that no one so far can answer. Can some one help me with this.

    March 17, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  3. Sharon MD

    One thing that all reporters are failing to mention when it comes to exposure to nuclear radiation of any kind is that the amount of exposure one gets is cumulative throughout their lifetime. If one gets a month's worth of background radiation in a couple of days, and continues to be exposed to the increased levels of radiation, this will have health consequences down the road (delayed effects). It is not like a higher than normal exposure for a week has a risk that fades over time; quite the opposite is true–this exposure adds to all exposure over one's lifetime. The effects of exposure accumulate over time. Failing to mention this fact may give some people a false sense of safety that does not exist.

    March 17, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  4. Judy Love

    Send Robots to Japan to assess damage to Nuclear Plant
    (Could Save Lives)
    Why do we not send Robots into Nuclear Plant in Japan, we could see what we need to see? And maybe Robot smart enough lol, to do some tasks? Radiation won't make Robot sick.
    There are no K – Iodine Pills to be found, in Newport, OR. @ the Pharmacy's, the Hospital, the Health Dept. the Police Station, nor the Fire Dept. as I've called, all claim none to be had. I fail to understand how it can be that We are as stated by the experts are over due for The Big One – Earthquake, Ect. We have Nuclear Reactors on our soil. What happened in Japan could likely happen here, So Where are Our only tool, Potassium Iodine Tablets. If we have to live with having these facilities, which I am not for them. We know they are like playing Russian Roulette. Why hasn't it been thought out enough for those tablets to be available. I'm sure there are concerns for those I'm sure few people whom may take these tablets prematurely, or when not appropriate at all to even take them. Compared to how many, possibly Thousands or more Lives of the Many Intelligent Americans on Our Own Lands whom would know that by taking them even as a last resort that these Potassium/Iodine Tablets could cause serious side effects. One being Cardiac Problems that could lead to death!
    Thanks Judy Love
    Newport, OR.

    March 18, 2011 at 12:16 am |
  5. Dennis R Kuhn Sr

    I think the workers need more air time. What will they have to deal with after the fact. It sounds like they have gone past the point of safety. There are 20 with radiation sickness at this point.

    March 18, 2011 at 11:50 am |
  6. Mack G

    At least two obvious questions are not being asked:

    1) why is a drone aircraft not being employed to get some good photos of the site, especially of Reactor #4?

    2) Why are no efforts being made to dry out and redraft the onsite diesel generators.

    March 18, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  7. J B Portman

    Dear Sirs
    We appreciate your valuable news with respect to the coverage in Japan.
    However, as there is considerable public concern about the effect of radiation, I think it would be very valuable if you could quantify the answers to the following questions:

    1. What are the units of radiation measurement currently being used.
    2. What is a roentjen.
    3. What is an REM.
    4. What are the public norms set as safe values, particularly in Japan.
    5. When food is said to be "contaminated" by radiation, can you give actual figures that are being used as found in vegetables and milk around the nuclear reactors in Japan. How dangerous is it?
    6. The use of iodine tablets is considered a possible remedial measure for radiation, but how does it work and what quantities are required for an effective treatment. Or are they really of no use.

    We look forward to your response.
    Bev and Audrey Portman
    South Africa

    March 21, 2011 at 9:52 am |
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