A glimpse into the life of the 'Fukushima 50'

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The Independent Online

Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has released eerie pictures of workers known as the "Fukushima 50" who are risking their lives exposed to dangerous levels of radiation to try to stabilise a power plant and prevent a nuclear disaster becoming a catastrophe.

The Fukushima Daiichi plant was badly damaged in the earthquake and tsunami that knocked out vital cooling systems, causing radiation leaks. The pictures show engineers conducting cooling operations, connecting power lines, collecting data from the control room and inspecting gauges.

Known as the "Fukushima 50" because the workers rotate into the plant in groups of 50, there are in fact thought to be about 200 people at the plant. In one hour, they are exposed to radiation levels much higher than the amount a typical worker might be exposed in their entire career.

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