UK's Channel Four has a news feature out on the plight of the 3,000 workers currently being bussed into the Fukushima Daiichi plant on behalf of some 600 subcontractor companies tasked with securing and cleaning up the nuclear disaster site.
Some of those workers take the job out of a sense of duty; many just need the money. Widespread displacement and contamination in the region has left many desperate.
The Channel 4 report is bleak. One doctor interviewed said many workers hide the amount of radiation they've received by tossing aside their personal radiation meters. Why? If they reach the daily limit, they won't be allowed to work any more.
"The real radiation levels are much higher," the doctor says, "That's a fact."
As an aside: I've heard of similar behavior at nuclear sites in the US, too, chatting with people who have worked in the nuclear industry or whose parents did. The need to earn a living will cause people to take terrible health risks.
Channel 4 correspondent John Sparks filed the story, and has a related post up here.
Image, TEPCO: A machine collects radioactive material in the air for sampling at the Unit 3 reactor of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in Fukushima prefecture in this handout picture taken on June 13 and released on June 14, 2011.
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: firstname.lastname@example.org.