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Subject: Would you work in Fukushima? rss

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I'm considering it. The pay over there is ridiculous. Life is short. And I've lived and worked around nuclear devices my whole life, thanks to the navy. I probably glow. What do you think?
 
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Tom Steynen
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I don't think so. It would definitely depend on the safety precautions they are providing. Life is indeed short and therefore very valuable.
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Dennis Bingham
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awakeneddragon wrote:
Life is short.


Life will be even shorter then
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Yannis
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What do you mean by work in Fukushima?

Work somewhere in Fukushima prefecture?
Work around the factory as radiation cleaning crew?

I see no reason why one would reject a position somewhere in Fukushima city if the pay is good.
Now if you say your employer is Tepco, then I say the answer is obvious...
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Clem Fandango
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Assuming you're saying you'll be working at risk of serious radiation exposure.... No I wouldn't.

I went and became a non violent human shield for human rights activists whose lives were under threat once, which was theoretically very dangerous but I did it because I believed passionately in what I was doing. Some years later still believing in what I did, and that it made a difference, I'm still not sure the impact on family and friends and long term on my health was worth it.

If you don't have any family and friends, have a death wish and would like to risk dying slowly and painfully - go ahead.

I'd suggest money isn't a good reason to do it.
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Luke Morris
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Nothing wrong with Fukushima. People have been moving back there to work for almost a year now.


Unless you watched American news, in which case YOU'LL DIE THE SECOND YOU GO THERE AND YOUR RADIATION WILL SPREAD ACROSS TO ALL YOUR FAMILY BACK HOME.
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Russ Williams
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HamsterOfFury wrote:
Nothing wrong with Fukushima. People have been moving back there to work for almost a year now.


Unless you watched American news, in which case YOU'LL DIE THE SECOND YOU GO THERE AND YOUR RADIATION WILL SPREAD ACROSS TO ALL YOUR FAMILY BACK HOME.

Both of those seem like extreme caricatures to me. You can certainly find plenty of articles (not just in US news - googling left as an exercise to the reader) about the post-tsunami nuclear pollution and its (not instantaneous but long-term) dangers to health, so it's an exaggeration to say "Nothing wrong with Fukushima" just as it's an exaggeration to say "YOU'LL DIE THE SECOND YOU GO THERE".
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Luke Morris
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Well every time I sit in a typical Japanese bar surrounded by men and women smoking, I'm losing minutes off my life for every cigarette they smoke.


So in other words, there's danger and life-shortening problems everywhere you are.
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*laughing* No, I certainly won't be on any clean-up crews (unless they require English instruction on-site for some reason and feel that I'M somehow qualified to tell them to run away).

My family back in the US is certainly in freak mode over the idea. My Japanese wife and her family, though, aren't too much better. That kind of surprised me.

I am seriously considering the position, and not just for the money, but because it is EXACTLY the kind of job that I've been looking for! If the person that has it is abandoning ship, well, I honestly don't see any real issue.

Thanks to everyone sounding off so quickly! Please wish me luck! (Though, I find it hard to believe that many people would be going for it!)
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Yannis
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HamsterOfFury wrote:
Unless you watched American news, in which case YOU'LL DIE THE SECOND YOU GO THERE AND YOUR RADIATION WILL SPREAD ACROSS TO ALL YOUR FAMILY BACK HOME.


Not to mention that the ambient radiation levels currently in Fukuhima are far less than several regions in continental USA.

Fukushima radiation fallout wont even qualify as a "blip" on this map.


And since I was a teen when it happened, Chernobyl memory hasn't faded yet...
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Russ Williams
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HamsterOfFury wrote:
Well every time I sit in a typical Japanese bar surrounded by men and women smoking, I'm losing minutes off my life for every cigarette they smoke.


So in other words, there's danger and life-shortening problems everywhere you are.

Sure, but it sounded like you meant that the nuclear disaster there didn't do anything to increase the danger, as if living there would be the same (in terms of health risks) as living in any other typical Japanese city. (I'm still not actually sure if that's indeed what you mean...)

To me, the health risks of living near a nuclear catastrophe seem obviously nontrivially higher than living far from a nuclear catastrophe. But of course I agree that it's not as if everyone in the city is instantly dying.
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Mercedes (Mandy)
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I know some people living in Fukushima and the surrounding areas. Fukushima is a huge prefecture. I worked there briefly years ago. It's really hard to say with all the non-news with what is going on. But I still have friends working and living over there, but that's only because they own property there and are paying off mortgages or something, or they are a lot older.

A lot of companies I know are also giving higher salaries to those that will work in Fukushima.

But as for me...probably not. I think if you also have children, I wouldn't recommend it. I wouldn't recommend it to my friends either.

They've reportedly found radiation from those power plant in Kanagawa a while back, plus they're bringing debris and things from the Tsunami to other parts of Japan to burn them. So...

At the moment the melted cores are contained, but they said another big earthquake...would affect Tokyo as well. They said it would be 10x Chernobyl's disaster. (If the containers crack etc. the waste will be released into the atmosphere, which I think they won't be able to contain)

But I think we have to take what we hear with a grain of salt. There's a lot of information we're not getting.

Fukushima Residents report -Mar 2012



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Maarten D. de Jong
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awakeneddragon wrote:
I'm considering it. The pay over there is ridiculous. Life is short. And I've lived and worked around nuclear devices my whole life, thanks to the navy. I probably glow. What do you think?

Yearly dose under 20 mSv? Go for it, man. But only if you have no children under 16, and that includes the unborn child in the belly of your pregnant SWMBO... although I've always considered it weird that the yearly limit for pregnant women (< 1 mSv) is less than what most people on this planet would normally receive via natural sources.

The dose of 20 mSv a year would increase your chances of dying from cancer by 0.11% (per year). (Calculated backwards from the ICRP standard rule of 1 Sv ~ 5.5% increase.) That is, I should point out, not the same as 'your chance of dying from cancer is 0.11%'. It's between 1 in 3 to 2 in 5, actually. Yes, cancer's a bitch. Myself, I hope for a good heart attack.

By the way, Wikipedia informs me that the highest dose an evacuee from Fukushima obtained was 68 mSv; one worker got 670 mSv. That's a lot, and not something to be repeated again in his lifetime. But still not something which is immediately fatal.
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Mercedes (Mandy)
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I forgot to mention that my friend that lives near Fukushima says their neighbourhood is kind of abandoned now. A lot of the neighbours moved to Tokyo. But I would worry for anyone I know that lived there.

Maybe you can find a good job in Tokyo? Come over this way
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Russ Williams
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cymric wrote:
Yes, cancer's a bitch. Myself, I hope for a good heart attack.

I hope to die quietly in my sleep like my old grandfather did.

Not screaming in panic and terror, like his passengers did.

(Yeah, yeah, old joke!)
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Brad Miller
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Oh hell no
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Isn't that heart attack bit a line from the Grumpier Old Men movie(s)? Those are good; will have to watch them again soon.

@ Mercedes: I'm all for Tokyo. I need to connect with some gamers!
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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If it's your dream job, then go for it. There aren't many things better in life than waking up every day knowing that you are going to do what you really enjoy, and getting paid for it as well. As mentioned, I wouldn't take kids or a pregnant partner there, but if you are single and child free, then do it.
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CJ
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awakeneddragon wrote:
I'm considering it. The pay over there is ridiculous. Life is short. And I've lived and worked around nuclear devices my whole life, thanks to the navy. I probably glow. What do you think?


Are you going to tell us what the job is and how much money it's offering to make it so attractive?

Personally the nuclear situation would be less of an issue than that Fukushima is a bit of a hole and doesn't have much going on. Fukushima City is one of the lamest prefectural capitals I've been to and the smaller towns are worse. I suppose it's not too far on the shink to Tokyo but unless they have trains at 0100 then you can't even go there and back on the pop in one night.
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$80,000+ a year, accomodations included. I pay for food. They've lost a lot of people, so maybe I'm getting the salary of two.

As for Fukushima being a "hole", even before it became irradiated, I now live in Tokushima--which may qualify as one of your "holes". The fact that Fukushima seems similar to Tokushima with respect to their abundance of nature, social activities, and cultural assets is a draw for me. I don't need clubs, drinking, or seedy establishment to enjoy Japan as a positive part of my community. I'm not into "one-nighters" but looking forward to festivals, sports days, and seeing if one of their university clubs is open to letting me in their soccer club, as Tokushima University has been so gracious to do.
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I think the danger (radioactive iodine getting into your thyroid) has now passed and unless you're at the Tepco site you should be fine.
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95% of Fukushima prefecture is perfectly safe. Radiation levels are a bit higher than natural for that area, but there are many places on earth with higher natural radiation, but not any more cancer. Hence, for those 95% there is no radiation-related health risk. If there would be a good job for me there, I would move there (with wife and baby daughter).

Japanese TV and press are probably not doing much better than their US equivalents with regards to false information, by the way, and as a result of that I still cannot buy rice from Fukushima in the supermarket, which I find rather annoying because that prefecture produces the best rice in my opinion. (They also make great sake, which is still available, although that too requires a bit more searching.)

Given that the 5% or so of the prefecture that might possibly be dangerous for someone's health (and even that is far from certain) are within the evacuation zone it is impossible that your job would be in a 'dangerous' area. In other words, there is nothing to worry about.
Go get your dream job!
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Go for it. The radiation danger has been blown way out of proportion. You probably got much worse in the Navy, and it probably wasn't significant either.
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If you're talking an ALT/English teaching gig then, yes, I'd hit that for 80 grand (although I don't know the going rates if you're talking a university position). With accommodation thrown in you're probably saving yourself between 30-40,000 per month so at current exchange rates that boosts your relative income to 86,000 per annum - more if they're fronting utilities as well.

Fuk-city is on the yamabiko line so although it has less frequent shinks there's still a lot of traffic and Sendai and Tokyo are reasonable hops either side. You're also well located for a weekend trip to Iwate for some boarding come winter. I did a 3-year stint in Tohoku so I've no problem with a rural setting but Fuk-city/prefecture never much impressed me when I stopped there a couple of times.

To be honest, I'm curious how much they are actually offering in yen as the currect exchange rates are so favourable that I imagine it's not all that much. You're especially onto a winner if you're still within the 2-year tax-free window.
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