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Revelations on the dirty work given to Windscale nuclear cleanup workers – and at Hanford

BBC: People taken from movie theater by police, forced to go in reactor and deal with burning fuel rods — TV: Military picked men off street to battle meltdown — Women, minorities, homeless, and prisoners used by nuclear industry for most dangerous work (VIDEO) http://enenews.com/bbc-police-grabbed-people-movie-theatre-made-reactor-deal-burning-fuel-rods-tv-men-picked-streets-forced-battle-nuclear-meltdown-video?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

BBC, ‘Windscale – Britain’s Biggest Nuclear Disaster’ (emphasis added) — Tom Tuohy, deputy manager at Windscale plutonium production plant (at 8:00 in): “We were trying to push the burning fuel into the back of the reactor.” — But the heat had melted the cartridges, so they were stuck in the core… Radiation was so intense they could only work a few hours. They were running out of firefighters. — Neville Ramsden, Windscale health physicist: “The police from the [plutonium] factory had turned up looking for volunteers and they brought a bus. They decided the best way to get the volunteers was to go up to the cinema, and ‘volunteer’ the back 2 rows at the show to go… push the fuel rods out of the reactor.”

Yorkshire Television, ‘Children of Chernobyl’(at 4:00 in): “When the robots broke down because of the extreme radioactivitymen were sent in to cleanup the site. They werenot volunteers. They were picked up off the streets and press ganged [i.e. taken by force] onto the roof… In 90 seconds, they received their permissible lifetime dose of radiation. The men were sent home and forgotten… They do not figure in any official casualty lists.”

Prof. Kate Brown, C-SPAN (at 35:00 in): “When there was an accident [at Hanford],when there was some dangerous groundthat needed to be worked… they sent in these temporary workersprisoners from the camps nearby… minority laborers… basically ‘jumpers’ to work in dangerous ground,unmonitored… and they’d leave with the many possible radioactive isotopes they had ingested… without any epidemiological trace… The plutonium cities presented a picture of healthy pink populations, this was a mirage.”

Prof. Brown (at 42:30 in): “That job [of refining plutonium] was often given to women… it’sone of the dirtiest jobs. At Dupont… they’d write the Army Corps, ‘Maybe since we’re going to make this super-poisonous product, we shouldn’t hire women who were younger than the menopausal age. What about fertility problems? What about mutants and monsters in offspring?’ They were real nervous about it… they knew a great deal, and they were worried.”

DC Bureau: When the enormous problem of high-level nuclear waste became apparent… White workers ordered African Americans to deal with this deadly mess, and disposal involveddumping plutonium straight into the soil…. [Mr. Lindsay] was recruited from his job as a segregated school principal to commute several hours from Greenwood, South Carolina… like thousands of other African American workers, was given the most dangerous jobs andordered to throw his dosimeter in a bucket before going into high risk areas.

Reuters: Police say Japanese gangsters rounded up homeless men to clean up Fukushima radiation… “Many homeless people are just put into dormitories [and] left with no pay at all.”

Anand Grover, United Nations Special Rapporteur (at 15:30 in): “These [Fukushima] workers told me, ‘Do you know we’re actually living in a shanty town?’… Literally on the pavement…in Tokyo… They told me that people come take them.”

Channel 4, ‘Nuclear Ginza’ (1995) — Prof. Kenji Higuchi (at 2:00 in): “The scenes I saw, the stories I heard, I found them difficult to believe at first… Workers go near the reactor and get exposed… Many of them become ill sometimes die… [They’re] picked off the street in the slums… I found so many… who didn’t know what had happened to them, or if they did,too frightened to speak… all their stories were the same… People simply don’t believe this could happen in a country like Japan… It’s as if they’re the living dead.”

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July 6, 2015 - Posted by | employment, UK

2 Comments »

  1. […] forcing people into nuclear work is a long-standing habit in the US, Japan, Russia and even the UK: https://nuclear-news.net/2015/07/06/revelations-on-the-dirty-work-given-to-windscale-nuclear-cleanup-… Windscale Chimneys, geograph.org.uk, by Chris Eaton, CC-BY-SA 2.0 In 1957, people at a UK cinema […]

    Pingback by Might You be Forced to be a Nuclear Worker? Snatched from a Cinema to Fight a Nuclear Fire? | Mining Awareness Plus | July 6, 2015 | Reply


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