Friday, April 1, 2011

Atomic samurai

This is just so sad. Workers at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant realize that they will probably die as a result from their exposure. Clearly, TEPCO (the utility that operates the plants) did not prepare in any way for this kind of a disaster, and they do not even have adequate protective equipment and clothing. It's difficult to imagine the same thing happening in the U.S.

As noted around the time of the Toyota auto recalls, Japanese consumers have far fewer protections than Americans do. The country is far less lawsuit happy, but also...manufacturers are given carte blanche in Japan. Although Japan was better prepared for a national disaster than the U.S. would be (in many ways), and the Japanese are extremely resourceful and have an amazing work ethic, they are also far less likely to challenge authority and demand workers' rights. Consequently, these workers at the nuclear plants are risking their lives to save the entire country from a nuclear catastrophe. My guess is that they feel it's their duty...and do not want to be the ones to request better safeguards for themselves.

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