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Spain honors heroes of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant crisis

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You have your opinion on the matter and I have mine. I know how the corporate world works, donations are tax right offs, hero stories on TV are for ratings, prize hands outs are PR stunts. There are really only a few credible publications, TV stations, awards, out there that are not commercialized. It's like Obama winning the nobel peace prize for 1 month in term... they claimed it was for future work to be done? Or the IOC and their backhanded bribes that gets one of the members booted every 3-4 years...

I'm getting off the subject.

cleo: IMO there are no hero's at fukushima, just disaster and people that where employed there. I know what you are getting at but I don't believe it, its a media made term and a warm a fuzzy term that makes everyone feel better. The SDF brought in by Kan because the tepco president said to the government "it's your problem now"... kan then yelled at the president and basically said "fix it, it is your problem"... a mistake on both their parts. This is all documented in several media reports even on this site.

Real heroes are the firefighters of 9/11.

I couldn't do either job, I'm not qualified and don't claim to be, but it doesn't take a nuclear science degree to ask questions. They obviously built the reactor close to the sea for a reason, they just didn't use that option on pumping sea water in time.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why aren't you slapping on a lead suit and pitching in at Daiichi with all this expertise?

S'right. Show us how a real hero does it.

gogogo is still confusing the 'they' who get to say from the safety of a plush office in Tokyo whether seawater should be pumped or not with the 'they' on the ground in Daiichi doing the work and risking their lives.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I dont hate anyone, I just dont call them heros.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Any real nuclear professional would know without instruments the nuclear process taking place without cooling and would know timings of things, they just had a bunch of homer simpson's running the plant that could read a dial and press a button. When the dial didn't work and the button did nothing they had no idea what to do

OK, we get it. You hate everyone who works at the plant. I'm sure every one of the engineers did nothing but eat donuts like Homer. You are 100% correct. JT commenter "gogogo" now knows more about saving a nuclear plant than the engineers who worked on it daily and the first responders trained to deal with emergencies. Why aren't you slapping on a lead suit and pitching in at Daiichi with all this expertise?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I'd love to hear you say this at 9pm on 3/11.

The plant is build 20 meters away from the ocean, I think this was obvious for everyone looking at the TV, even yourself, they had the ability to pump sea water so it must have been a system they had installed and at their disposal.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

You REALLY think the engineers and disaster response teams "sat around for 2.5 days waiting for the explosions"?

They cared more about saving their reactor than it blowing up. Whatever they did they didn't pump seawater. They must have know seawater would have cooled the plant but tried other things that didn't work. Any real nuclear professional would know without instruments the nuclear process taking place without cooling and would know timings of things, they just had a bunch of homer simpson's running the plant that could read a dial and press a button. When the dial didn't work and the button did nothing they had no idea what to do.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

If they had dumped sea water from day 1, they would have done three things:

Well, duh. We know this now. I can and will say it again: hindsight is 20/20. I'd love to hear you say this at 9pm on 3/11.

You REALLY think the engineers and disaster response teams "sat around for 2.5 days waiting for the explosions"?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Let me put it this way... If they had dumped sea water from day 1, they would have done three things:

Destroyed their reactors (sorry I really don't care about your financial loss tepco) Avoided an explosion and possible meltdown. Avoided all the radiation.

You can say hindsight is 20/20 but to be this is just obvious that if the pumps are not working because they are damaged (they knew this 6 hours after the power went off) that sitting around for 2,5 more days until the explosion happened makes you.

People seem to forget that the explosions that released most of the radiation and still is releasing it happens days later.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Take sides with Tepco if you want, the government and tepco are trying to turn this into a hero situation to avert attention away from responsibility.

These workers were honored by SPAIN, not TEPCO, not the Japanese government. TEPCO does not have their paws in every corner of the world, you know.

A meltdown? Everyone is trained all around the world to stop meltdowns working in the industry (except tepco employees it seems).

A meltdown? They didn't even know if it was a meltdown! They had no power, no instrumentation, and the facility was just smashed by a massive tsunami.

They had no plan if they couldn't get power, they just assumed at all times there would be power to pump water.

Yes, this a complete failure of TEPCO management. A horrible, criminal failure of mismanagement, stupid risks, and complete carelessness. But the people trying to save the plant AND your life, my life, all of us - heroes.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

smitty - Yes, I know it's not a very good comparison. I was just feeling snippy about gogogo's lack of grace.

The award is going to the people who risked their lives, not the high-ups who were cowering in Tokyo.

gogogo -

Everyone is trained all around the world to stop meltdowns working in the industry (except tepco employees it seems).

Yes, yes. And when you've just experienced the country's strongest earthquake on record PLUS a devastating tsunami, you have no idea if your family and friends are alive or dead and 800 people have just done an emergency evacuation from the place you are working, you expect everyone to be as calm and things to go as smoothly as they do in training. if only.

the government and tepco are trying to turn this into a hero situation

The government and tepco have nothing to do with this Award.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

When it comes to laying out the blame for the absalute catastrophy you wuold have to go way back, back to the designers, original construction contractor and the power supplier who were aware that the plant was niether earthquake nor tsunami proof. The Spanish Prince of Austurias Award was not accorded to them It was to the workers of the plant, the Fire services and the Defence forces who took and are still taking the risks in order to try and bring the reactors under control. There are so many more heroes out there, the volunteers,who work selflessly, in their endeavour to clean up some of the aftermath, individual rescuers who helped their neighbours. Heroes then and now. All desrve recognition but at the same time not to detract from the rightfull honours allready placed

1 ( +1 / -0 )

How much experience is there in the world of plants dealing with these sorts of disasters? I would say none before 3/11.

A meltdown? Everyone is trained all around the world to stop meltdowns working in the industry (except tepco employees it seems). A cooling pump failing is a very standard problem that they should be trained for. They had no plan if they couldn't get power, they just assumed at all times there would be power to pump water.... They tried to get the pumps online and knew the fuel was melting but did nothing. They didn't even admit the place at blown up for 1 hour even though video was on the TV.

Take sides with Tepco if you want, the government and tepco are trying to turn this into a hero situation to avert attention away from responsibility.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

cleo: "You'd better hope I'm not the only person around when you have a traffic accident and need to be pulled from your car, I lack the serious training and instruction to help you."

Agree that the people on the ground deserve recognition, but your comparison isn't really valid. Aside from the 'jumpers' TEPCO hired at high cost to go in and clean up, the people working there are and have been TEPCO employees, not just people who happened to pass by and witness the 'accident'.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes they should have ruined a trillion yen investment and everything you said in order to stop the thing blowing up.

Of course they should have! We all know this now. They did not know this then and could not have known this then.

I'm no expert but they as professionals running the plant would have known the point of no return with regards to saving the plant and acted in time.

They may have known the point of no return but it doesn't mean they could have acted in time. Everything happened quite quickly. The plants were in bad shape immediately after the tsunami due to very poor planning - it's really hard to criticize the response teams after they are confronted with a scenario that was not planned for and no contingency plans existed for. Blame very poor planning and very poor management, but after the tsunami and the loss of power those engineers and technicians are nothing but heroes. It's through their efforts things didn't get worse than they did, and many of them will probably pay for that effort with a much shorter life.

Didn't know it was going to blow up and lack experience.

How much experience is there in the world of plants dealing with these sorts of disasters? I would say none before 3/11.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yes, they should have ruined a trillion yen investment and knocked out a significant amount of power generation capacity without even making a small attempt to save it.

Yes they should have ruined a trillion yen investment and everything you said in order to stop the thing blowing up. I'm no expert but they as professionals running the plant would have known the point of no return with regards to saving the plant and acted in time.

So either they:

Didn't know it was going to blow up and lack experience. Knew is was going to blow up and didn't act in time. A bit a of both?
-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I'm confused. Is each person of 150, 800, or thousands going to receive E50,000 and a Miro statue?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Agree with Gurukun.

You might be able to hold Tepco, Toshiba, GE, etc responsible as those build, designed and operated the plants.

Also doubt many of the workers were born or of workable/voting age when the plants were put into operation.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Why are the people that caused the reactor to blow up heroes?

What?! I thought it was the earthquake/tsunami that started all of this....

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Why are the people that caused the reactor to blow up heroes? Sure the workers stayed behind but that is exactly what they should have done as the meltdown could have been avoided if they pumped sea water from day 1.

Yes, they should have ruined a trillion yen investment and knocked out a significant amount of power generation capacity without even making a small attempt to save it.

Hindsight is always 20/20 isn't it?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Why are the people that caused the reactor to blow up heroes? Sure the workers stayed behind but that is exactly what they should have done as the meltdown could have been avoided if they pumped sea water from day 1. Again I will be blunt, they were bumbling around and we want to commend them for fixing a problem they caused? The 911 firefighters didn't cause 911...

Please comment.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

I would not compare the 911 heroes with the Japanese power plant workers, I think the workers in Japan lacked serious training and instruction, they could have prevented the explosions having pumped sea water into the reactors from the start but they wanted to "save the plant" at the expense of "saving lives". Sorry to be so blunt.

The people on the ground doing the grunt work were not responsible for making the wrong decisions; you're confusing them with the executive, who of course deserve no more credit for the bravery of the workers than GWB and Cheney deserve for the bravery of the 9/11 firefighters. (Actually there is a parallel there - Cheney in a 'secure location', the CEO of Tepco 'in hospital')

A person who lacks 'serious training and instruction' yet still puts his life on the line to save others doesn't deserve recognition? You'd better hope I'm not the only person around when you have a traffic accident and need to be pulled from your car, I lack the serious training and instruction to help you.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I think the reason for the anonymity is the prejudice against those who are thought to be contaminated. I'd be happy to invite any worker over for dinner.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Good Bad JapanGalSEP. 08, 2011 - 12:25PM JST As the generous American Military sits humbly on the side lines.

Umm, the US military did help when the conditions were somewhat safe.....and the US military didn't build a bunch of nuclear plants in a place that is , palgued by earthquake, tsunamis, typhoons, occasionally volanoes......while the US military has done a lot of shady things, this is one thing they didn't cause.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The men and women on the ground absolutely deserve credit for their hard work, and the majority can be called heroes, I believe. I just hope TEPCO and the government don't try to take the credit themselves (they probably will).

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

As the generous American Military sits humbly on the side lines.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

The one announced Wednesday is the last this year. It corresponds to a category called Concord and goes to a person or people who stand out in their work toward goals like peace or their fight against woes like injustice, poverty or sickness."

That is not a congrats, that is an acknowledgment and thank you for their work, please read before commenting.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think the workers in Japan lacked serious training and instruction, they could have prevented the explosions having pumped sea water into the reactors from the start but they wanted to "save the plant" at the expense of "saving lives". Sorry to be so blunt.

Not to mention so wrong. These men and women are heroes and it's impossible for you and I to second guess the decisions they made in the heat of the moment. They risked their lives in the course of making these decisions; how many of us can say the same?

2 ( +2 / -1 )

The Fukushima 50 (however many of them there were) deserve the same recognition.

Taking nothing away from the people that are helping, CNN make that term up, no one is calling them that except CNN or the people that watch it, don't believe every tear jerk news story you see, they make the stories into sad hero stories for ratings.

I would not compare the 911 heroes with the Japanese power plant workers, I think the workers in Japan lacked serious training and instruction, they could have prevented the explosions having pumped sea water into the reactors from the start but they wanted to "save the plant" at the expense of "saving lives". Sorry to be so blunt.

-9 ( +3 / -11 )

@cleo well said... I second you...

I dont understand how people can neglect the effort of so called "Fukushima50". For me, they are heros. They had the option to walk away.... Board in a flight to some safer places... But they didnt... they put the interest of the nation ahead of their personal interest...

They deserved to be honored,... More than that their families also should be honored and respected....

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The Fukushima 50 (however many of them there were) deserve the same recognition.

I wish they would show who these 50 were. I completely agree that they need hero type recognition.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This is no time to congrats people the thing is still out of control. Give thanks after it is fixed

It isn't 'congrats', it's thanks. Whether 'the thing is still out of control' or not is irrelevant. It's the effort that's being honoured, not the result.

The firefighters on 9/11 didn't prevent the buildings falling down or thousands of people getting killed, yet they're still (rightly) honoured as heroes. The Fukushima 50 (however many of them there were) deserve the same recognition.

12 ( +13 / -2 )

Is Spain getting paid off by Japan Inc??

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Exactly, does Spain know the current situation? This is no time to congrats people the thing is still out of control. Give thanks after it is fixed.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Those that fought and those who are still fighting to bring the reactors under control should perhaps have been the correct wording, but it doesnt detract from the fact that they are the heroes. They could have walked away, but no , they are there still. The honour accorded to them and their families is well deserved, and the recognition of their bravery is international.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Crews in Japan that worked to bring the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant under control

Am I missing some great news? Last time I checked, it was still out of control, spewing radiation, water about to overflow, no proper protection from tsunamis or earthquakes, no roof, no place to dispose of waste, no cold meltdown, no idea about the condition of the melted down rods, food contamination, incorrect or misleading information from the govt and still the possibility of explosions. And accidents keep happening to workers, a couple have dropped dead, over 100 missing and tempory workers from Osaka being tricked into doing all the dirty work. Does Spain know something we don't?

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

To all of those heroes heartfelt thanks, we know niether ther names nor their faces but, they know who they are.Each one of you did your job, knowing the risks, but went ahead anyway. Japan must be very proud to have such gallant citizens

3 ( +5 / -2 )

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