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Senior Citizens Lining Up to Tackle Fukushima

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the greatest-and-most-radioactive-generation dept.

Japan 242

Some have compared them to kamikazes, but the more than 200 elderly volunteers who want clean up the Fukushima power station say they are just being practical. 72-year-old retired engineer Yasuteru Yamada says: "I am 72 and on average I probably have 13 to 15 years left to live. Even if I were exposed to radiation, cancer could take 20 or 30 years or longer to develop. Therefore us older ones have less chance of getting cancer." So far the government is hesitant to let the volunteers into the power station but Yamada and the others have been lobbying for the right to aid in the clean up. He says: "At this moment I can say that I am talking with many key government and Tepco people. But I am sorry I can't say any more at this moment. It is on the way but it is a very, very sensitive issue politically."

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242 comments

Fukushima in my pants (0)

slashpot (11017) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298354)

I have Fukushima in my pants.

Re:Fukushima in my pants (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36298894)

That can happen if an improperly installed butt plug stays in to long.
Also, you end up full of crap.

Re:Fukushima in my pants (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36299426)

no, it's just prostate cancer

Inspiring and selfless (5, Insightful)

asdbffg (1902686) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298406)

I wonder if there is a population here in the States that would be willing to take a compelling risk like this.

Re:Inspiring and selfless (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36298424)

Illegal aliens...

Re:Inspiring and selfless (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36298504)

You need look no further than 9/11 first responders. Of course, the politicians then tried to stiff them after using 9/11 imagery for commercials.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/blog-post/2010/12/jon_stewarts_campaign_for_the.html [washingtonpost.com]

Re:Inspiring and selfless (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298800)

Tried to stiff them? the republicans blocked giving them aid at EVERY TURN! democrats asked for stupid as hell restrictions... and in the end... they flipped a giant fuck you to every 9/11 responder....

to get your aid, you haveto have a background check to see if you are a terrorist... WTF is that?

Re:Inspiring and selfless (5, Informative)

modecx (130548) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299118)

It's the same thing with the soldiers they eagerly send to war, isn't it? It's standard operating procedure for disposable workers, and a recurring theme ever since the Continental Army was demobilized in 1783.

It's all pats on the back, and out of one side of their mouths it's all "Thanks for putting your life on the line", and "you're defending freedom", etc. while simultaneously they're winding to give a giant boot up your collective asses.

Re:Inspiring and selfless (0)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298988)

Not to sound like a dick, but they didn't know that "9/11" was occurring on 9/11/2001.

Re:Inspiring and selfless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36299130)

This doesn't cover that one day only. These people continued to stay there for months afterwards. One of the interviewees in the first clip was down there digging out bodies for 10 months after the attack, and now has cancer from the toxins.

Re:Inspiring and selfless (1)

creat3d (1489345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299748)

No, but they did make every damn effort not to listen to their plight nor give them any aid once the responders realized they're dying...

Re:Inspiring and selfless (4, Informative)

gdshaw (1015745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298574)

I wonder if there is a population here in the States that would be willing to take a compelling risk like this.

Provided that they intend to keep exposure within reasonable limits (which appears to be the case) then smoking, working in a coal mine, or just having an unhealthy diet would all qualify.

Re:Inspiring and selfless (1)

TarMil (1623915) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298712)

I wonder if there is a population here in the States that would be willing to take a compelling risk like this.

Provided that they intend to keep exposure within reasonable limits (which appears to be the case) then smoking, working in a coal mine, or just having an unhealthy diet would all qualify.

I think smoking and unhealthy diet are generally seen as a reasonable trade-off between immediate pleasure and long-term effects. Most of the time unconsciously, moreover. So they're not really relevant here, unless you consider cleaning up Fukushima an immediate pleasure.

As for coal miners, more often than not they don't do it by choice.

Re:Inspiring and selfless (1)

gdshaw (1015745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299062)

I wonder if there is a population here in the States that would be willing to take a compelling risk like this.

Provided that they intend to keep exposure within reasonable limits (which appears to be the case) then smoking, working in a coal mine, or just having an unhealthy diet would all qualify.

I think smoking and unhealthy diet are generally seen as a reasonable trade-off between immediate pleasure and long-term effects. Most of the time unconsciously, moreover. So they're not really relevant here, unless you consider cleaning up Fukushima an immediate pleasure.

As for coal miners, more often than not they don't do it by choice.

I agree that there's a big difference, and I certainly wouldn't want to belittle their altruistic intent - but I was answering the question as stated, which was about risk. The examples I gave are highly relevant in that respect.

Re:Inspiring and selfless (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298830)

Provided that they intend to keep exposure within reasonable limits (which appears to be the case) then smoking, working in a coal mine, or just having an unhealthy diet would all qualify.

Do you really think that either of those things in some way compares with exposure to nuclear radiation? I'm thinking this must be one of those cases where you've been banging a drum for a while and just accidentally went too far.

Re:Inspiring and selfless (0, Troll)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299026)

O noes the toxin has a scary vector so its different.... Death is death, it doesnt matter if its black lung from coal dust or a giant tumor from radiation. I dont want to blow your mind or anything but you are being bombarded by radiation RIGHT NOW!!!!! Better get your lead/tinfoil hybrid hat on just to be safe.

Re:Inspiring and selfless (1)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299164)

I'm so going to take up asbestos siding removal when I'm 90. Hell, I'll do that and X-Ray tech. Suck on that risk management!

Re:Inspiring and selfless (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36298580)

Are you kidding? The US is the nation of the scared. Politicians mention terrorists and the US citizens sell their freedom for some "protection" from the scary thoughts.

Re:Inspiring and selfless (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299014)

Are you kidding? Virtually everyone in the US hates all that knee-jerk reaction, but realistically at the voting booths are two-party system has left use with a choice between dumb and dumber. The POLITICIANS put those things in place and it's not even fair to say "You elected them!" anymore because those are basically the only choice anyone has these days. I personally vote Libertarian when I get the chance but out of the entire ballot last time I only had ONE that was even listed anywhere.

Re:Inspiring and selfless (2)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299098)

Is a more-than-two-party system better? I don't see evidence of that when looking at other countries.

President Carter (2)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298584)

Back in the day, President Carter was part of a clean up crew for a nuclear accident. At that time it was because he had the security clearance needed because he was in the Navy, in addition to knowing about reactors.

The point that these retired worker make about lower cancer risk is a good one. If there are Japanese speaking retired nuclear workers around the world, getting them to step in would make a lot of sense. There may even be room for non-Japanese speakers as a part of a crew with a translator.

Welcome to Slasshole-dot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36298596)

Jesus Tap Dancing Christ, straight to the America bashing in two posts! Read any story about any disaster here in the US to find inspiring tales.

Re:Welcome to Slasshole-dot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36298986)

That is why this site sucks major ass and can't be taken seriously. It's hell bent in one direction, and very closed minded idiots who know nothing of what they speak ever! Nerds? Gimme a break more like idiots.

Re:Welcome to Slasshole-dot (1)

Loosifur (954968) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298994)

You must be new here...

Re:Inspiring and selfless (3, Interesting)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298634)

Their strength is their weakness. The same nobility that inspired these geezers (and i use that term with respect) to volunteer will prevent anyone in government or management from allowing them to go through with it. If they do it, some of them will certainly develop cancer or other serious maladies, and Japan's black eye would only get worse if they were seen sending in their most revered citizens in to die cleaning up a mess caused by some whippersnapper 40 year olds and their slipshod safety procedures.

No, the only thing that would float is if the Tepco management team themselves "volunteered" to do the clean up, as penance for the disaster they caused.

Nuclear engineer extended career (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298888)

Since nuclear accidents are inevitable, it would be good to get a hotshot team of retired engineers prepared for any emergency at any reactor. This should be a professional requirement in the field.

Re:Inspiring and selfless (4, Insightful)

TrentTheThief (118302) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298926)

Sure, I'd go. There are many who would. Probably all of them older veterans, like me. I'd rather live peacefully, but to help my country recover from something so serious as a major nuclear accident? I'm up for it. I have children and grandchildren. I'd do anything to make certain that they can live normal lives.

+5 Inspiring (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36299576)

Good on you, mate. I'm too young yet and haven't had my kids yet either, but some day I hope to follow your example for positive attitude.

you're doing it wrong (3, Interesting)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299050)

this only continues to prop up the disproven evil Capitalist "privatize the profits, socialize the risks" mindset.

Re:Inspiring and selfless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36299242)

Depends on the pay rate. You do realize these volunteers expect to be paid, right?

Japan has been using unskilled labor for nuclear work for some time. The 'temporary contractors' clean vessels up to their exposure limit, get paid and return to their fishing village or wherever they subsist.

Re:Inspiring and selfless (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36299322)

Ever heard of ex president Jimmy Carter? He was on a reactor repair crew when he was young and got serious radiation exposure. He is still doing just fine. Ditto for ex president Boris Yeltsin, but he isn't doing so well, though not due to the radiation exposure...

Re:Inspiring and selfless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36299508)

If my family was compensated for my sickness and death, then yes, I would absolutely take a risk such as this. I am 60 years old - and on /.!!

Re:Inspiring and selfless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36299662)

-e s/selfless/selfish/g -e s/gave/stole/g -e s/helped/killed/g -e s/humanitarian/military/g

just run the above on any story from elsewhere in the world to get the American version.

Kamikazes vs Heroes (2)

rayray14 (591465) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298434)

Kamikazes? More like heroes (but then again, that all definition depends on whether you're in the air or on the ground).

Re:Kamikazes vs Heroes (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298576)

Sort of kamikazes, even if they're the good kind now. I'm not exactly familiar with the radiation levels inside/around the plant now, but even if cancer takes a long time to develop, if they take a large dose, walking ghost will get them in a week or two, and it won't be pretty or painless...

Either way, they are heroes.

Re:Kamikazes vs Heroes (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299208)

Sort of kamikazes, even if they're the good kind now.

As opposed to?

The Kamikaze fought for their country as did every other soldier fighting for his in WW2. The fact that they were on a suicide mission, is no different than what many special forces groups did in WW2. Fighting your enemy with no hope for your own life is not anything new.

Re:Kamikazes vs Heroes (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299412)

Yes, I got your point myself, after I posted. I spoke with a decidedly western point of view, for whom the Kamikaze were a deadly threat.

Re:Kamikazes vs Heroes (1)

Nikker (749551) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298588)

To the Japanese the kamikaze were the heroes. Reading comprehension is hard.

Re:Kamikazes vs Heroes (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299028)

I don't know. The divine wind might blow all that fallout over Tokyo

Re:Kamikazes vs Heroes (1)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299256)

I have it on good authority that the Japanese regarded the kamikazes (in WWII and elsewhere) as heroes.

Japan Solves Aging Population Problem! (2)

InsertWittyNameHere (1438813) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298438)

Prime Minister re-elected in landslide victory getting all robot votes.

Re:Japan Solves Aging Population Problem! (1)

Huckabees (1929306) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299606)

Prime Minister voluntarily steps down in eight months after taking office for failing to meet campaign promises as is tradition in Japan.

I'm impressed (5, Insightful)

sircastor (1051070) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298454)

This is a tremendous show of character and pragmatism. I don't think that I'd have the courage to offer myself. I'm very impressed.

uh huh huh hu (0)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298464)

samzenpus said fuku

72 year old? (4, Interesting)

TheCreeep (794716) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298470)

"I am 72 and on average I probably have 13 to 15 years left to live. Even if I were exposed to radiation, cancer could take 20 or 30 years or longer to develop. Therefore us older ones have less chance of getting cancer."

Isn't the "time to cancer" a function of both exposure AND age? It would seem sensible that the senior citizens' cells are already damaged by old age, so exposure to radiation would have a head start as opposed to a 20 year old.
IANARH (I am not anything relevant here) so I'm really curious about this question.

Re:72 year old? (3, Interesting)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298536)

I don't think we really know... But either way you look at it, cancer is going to take fewer years away from a 72yr old than a 30yr old.

I have to say, though, that you have to have a bit of a death wish to volunteer to take that big a chance on getting cancer. Especially since I think their '20 years to develop' estimate is off by 18 or 19 years.

Re:72 year old? (3, Interesting)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298652)

Detecting cancer in a year or two in a 72 year old is probably already pre-existing; it takes time to develop to detectability, much less life-threatening size.

It also depends on how much dosage they allow these seniors to get - if they follow current guidlines, even the more expedient 'emergency' levels, it might only raise their chances 5%.

Then again, it might kill an existing cancer(though not likely). You just don't know.

Re:72 year old? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36298792)

Could be that they also want to live a little, having been retired for years and possibly jonesin' for that job again. It's a stereotype, but you know, Japanese people are sort of nuts with regard to work.

Re:72 year old? (1)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299024)

It's more like a cultural trait than a stereotype. On the other hand, have you seen the demographics? Seniors are still in the work force because even if they wanted to hire just young people, there just aren't that many.

Re:72 year old? (5, Interesting)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299666)

Seniors are still in the work force because they need the money.

I was very surprised to learn (from my Japanese language partner in Japan) that 'retirement' means quitting your really nice desk job and getting a crappy manual labor job like bagging groceries. I found this out by offering congratulations when she said her husband was 'retiring'. It was the same conversation that I learned that retirement is not optional when you hit a certain age. (His company it was 60 yrs old. Hers is 65.)

Re:72 year old? (1)

squizzar (1031726) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299462)

Why do you think the risk is so great? There are plenty of people who moved back to their homes in the zone of alienation that, contrary to popular expectations, don't seem to be dying too fast.

Re:72 year old? (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299078)

IANARH (I am not anything relevant here)

Is there any use at all for using a single instance of a made-up acronym so obscure that you have to immediately spell it out afterwards?

Re:72 year old? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36299428)

Yes, the similarity of his one-time acronymn with the well-known IANAL acronymn implicitly gives contextual information to his statement. Specifically, it explains what he is doing (disclaiming being an expert in the field so that any ignorance expressed in his question that would be apparent to experts will appear justified), and why he is doing it (so that readers do not assume his opinion should give a sufficient basis to establish their own knowledge upon). It would take more than a sentence to explain all that. Further, by making reference to this common theme in Slashdot discussions, he makes it clear that he is not new here, and that he is not ignorant of the things we have been talking about. I do not advocate the proliferation of one-time acronyms--I am just answering your (probably rhetorical) question because I happen to find it annoying when people scrutinize and criticize communication devices while ignoring all meaning/content/payload thereof.

Go Japan! (4, Insightful)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298476)

Most people will probably just see a huge Corporation taking advantage if these people are allowed to do what they plan on doing, but I have to say that I'm impressed.

Practically sacrificing for the greater good is an admirable attribute. I have to thank these Japanese Seniors for restoring my faith in humanity.

Re:Go Japan! (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36298554)

"Corporation" is not a not proper noun, nor is the word "seniors".

Re:Go Japan! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36299460)

While I think the sentiment is commendable, I want to point out that that kinda misses the point. The guy is saying that because they will die of other causes before the risk of radiation is realized, /there's no need for sacrifice/. Instead, it's practical level-headed thinking (something which we collectively seem to lose whenever it comes to anything nuclear.)

Re:Go Japan! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36299718)

Both. It is admirable that these men are willing to accept responsibility for the dangerous work. And at the same time, it is their sense of duty that will be exploited by TEPCO. If the utility was government-owned or otherwise non-profit, there would be no real catch to the story. But as it is, TEPCO is a profiteer and the old men in charge of the company are all too happy to accept other older men to get cancer on their behalf.

"Some have compared them to kamikazes" (1, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298492)

[citation needed][weasel words]

If you're going to add some bullshit controversy to get your story posted on Slashdot, at least compare them to Apple zealots.

Re:"Some have compared them to kamikazes" (2)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298608)

Actually, the original proposer makes the statement that they are not like Kamikaze because they are coming back. They are not going there to die. http://yosukeyanase.blogspot.com/2011/05/veteran-engineers-call-for-volunteers.html [blogspot.com]

So it's quite possible that all the talk of kamikaze in response to this is directly from his words... Or that he was responding to that talk already.

Re:"Some have compared them to kamikazes" (3, Insightful)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298730)

The way one of them views this is: "Our generation which has, consciously or unconsciously, approved the construction of the Fukushima nuclear power plants and enjoyed the benefits of the vast supply of electricity ... should be the first to join the Skilled Veteran Corps," said Yasuteru Yamada, the 72-year-old retired engineer who created the group. http://www.myfoxdc.com/dpp/news/japanese-senior-citizens-volunteer-to-work-in-fukushima-plant-ncxdc-052511 [myfoxdc.com]

You might call him a nuclear zealot, but it is true that the younger people won't get any benefit from the Fukushima plant, only poison and sickness and perhaps death.

Re:"Some have compared them to kamikazes" (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299648)

You might call him a nuclear zealot, but it is true that the younger people won't get any benefit from the Fukushima plant, only poison and sickness and perhaps death.

Oh FFS mdsolar, cut the crap.
Those younger people are living the result of their grandparents hard work.
Just by being born and living past 5 years old, they have already benefited enormously from the "vast supply of electricity" created by Fukushima power.

Japan will rebuild with safer and more robust technology.
What they won't be able to do is solve their power shortage by sticking wind farms and solar plants all over the island.

Re:"Some have compared them to kamikazes" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36298764)

Damn straight, these people are clearly Vulcan, not Kamikaze.

Re:"Some have compared them to kamikazes" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36298944)

citation=the actual article?

Lower chance too (4, Informative)

marcovje (205102) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298496)

Older people have lower rates of celldivision, and thus probably have a lower chance on cancer (for the same dose).

Re:Lower chance too (1, Informative)

rritterson (588983) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298642)

One of the hallmarks of cancer cells are mutations that make them divide like crazy and never stop. The baseline division rate before they became cancerous doesn't really matter much by that point.

Re:Lower chance too (3, Informative)

marcovje (205102) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298684)

That is true, but has nothing to do with my remark.

The genome is simply more vulnerable while copying.

Re:Lower chance too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36298714)

Yes, but the "becoming cancerous" part occurs during cell division. That's why a lower rate should equate to lower chance of developing cancer.

Re:Lower chance too (1)

Mprx (82435) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298780)

It does matter, because cells are most vulnerable to radiation while in the process of dividing.

Re:Lower chance too (2)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298802)

To a degree, it does, as transcription errors occur during mitosis, and that's when things go wrong. Lower division rates mean less opportunities for an irrecoverable error to occur, because if the DNA is damaged during normal life, it's either repaired, or the cell simply triggers apoptosis and self-destructs.

It doesn't eliminate the chance, but it might lower it.

Thats quite noble but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36298520)

This opens up a lot of issues that become a can of worms. When is one life worth less than another? IF some task is to hard for someone of 72 years old, do we recruit cancer patients in relatively good health (read: strong physique)? For what other jobs are these people then suited for? To assume someone will perish in a given lifetime, opens doors we may not want to venture through. Im not saying its a BAD IDEA, I'm saying its one that should not be discussed behind closed doors.

I, for one, will never look down at anyone (politician or anyone), for considering an idea. The best way to decide on issues like these is to have an open, sincere debate. Its sad that so many politicians don't want to be seen CONSIDERING a tenuous idea, let alone actually go through with it; that they spend so much resources hiding the fact. We should encourage free thought and radical ideas, because if even one in a thousand is a good one, then the whole exercise is worth it. There are no bad ideas, only bad actions.

Re:Thats quite noble but... (1)

microcentillion (942039) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298618)

This has nothing to do with it. You are implying that people would be 'Chosen' to do this, when in fact these individuals are *volunteering*.

I can see no political detriment to this, other than the future spin people would put on it (e.g. Future claims that Japan forces the elderly to clean up radiation spills). If these people want to make the world a better place for everyone else, at their own risk and peril, why not let them? I'm proud to share the planet with people like this.

Silly young people? (1)

roguegramma (982660) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298818)

Is the practice of recruiting silly young people into the military any better?

When they die, they lose their life expectation of maybe 70 years, while older people would lose a bit less.

Re:Silly young people? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36299740)

Hence why ants send the old and infirm out on the front lines in war.

Re:Thats quite noble but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36299108)

Soviet Russia sent 800,000 people into the wreckage of Chernobyl to do the job.

Japan has done nothing of the sort.

Re:Thats quite noble but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36299630)

Since when does volunteer = recruit?

No one is asking the elders to do this. They are volunteering. A cancer patient has just as much right to volunteer as anyone else.

Radition suits more dangerious the radition (1)

doconnor (134648) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298540)

Given the death of one worker at the planet, it suggests that working in restrictive radiation suits in stressful conditions all day it probably more dangerous then the radiation, especially for people who are older and no longer in ideal health.

Re:Radition suits more dangerious the radition (1)

oobayly (1056050) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299300)

Quite true, if you watch Inside Chernobyl's Sarcophagus - BBC Horizon [youtube.com] , one of the scientists from the "Complex Expedition" says the following:

Two years ago our friend Kolya Bazy died, but not from radiation - his heart simply gave out. That seems to be the most popular way to die here

It's was an excellent program, parts are pretty bloody depressing but I'd recommend watching it. If you're like me - from the UK - just make sure you watch the one narrated by Philip Tibenham. He provides a sombre air to it, rather than the American version which in my opinion felt a bit sensationalist.

Well, you know, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36298622)

Sometimes old people are surprisingly hardcore. Japanese doubly so, when it's about _work_.

Makes sense on many levels (2)

pepax (748182) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298636)

How many ways are there for people in their 70's to make a such large and meaningful contribution to their society? It would really be a great legacy to leave behind.

In Japan the old say (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36298656)

In Japan, the old say "What can I do to help"

In the US the old say "Don't touch my entitlements"

Re:In Japan the old say (2)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298706)

In Japan they take care of their old.

In the US we have a political faction hell bent on denying elderly people access to the very programs they funded with tax money their entire lives.

Re:In Japan the old say (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36299102)

They voted for a pyramid scheme... They paid into the pyramid scheme... Now, they are surprised that there is no money.

I guess they should have voted against the pyramid scheme and saved for their own retirement. Maybe that is a lesson we should all learn...

If it is being pitched by a politician and it sounds too good to be true... And you still fall for it... Then you voluntarily bent over and grabbed your ankles... That is their problem not mine! Please, stop trying to make me responsible for other peoples stupidity!

Re:In Japan the old say (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299160)

The same entitlements that were meant to be temporary and not provide enough support for a living on.

Re:In Japan the old say (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298816)

"In the US the old say "Don't touch my entitlements"" Let's be fair here; EVERY country other than Japan they say don't touch my entitlements. The US isn't special in this regard; Japan certainly is.

Re:In Japan the old say (2)

solkimera (1319365) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299238)

In the first world perhaps. Plenty of places the old don't really have much at all.

Re:In Japan the old say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36299474)

Lets be really fair.

Chernobyl was dealt with quickly. The Soviets had no problems sending in 800000 people to do the job.
Japan is acting like somebody else is supposed to clean this up, and they are entitled to spare their own people.

Seniors should do this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36298950)

They screwed the world up now it's time to fix it :)

Can someone tell me why (1)

Shorty1911 (878896) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298964)

We are not using robots to do this . I seen so many from cops to military using them, I would say we could do this almost over night with robots and without the loss of life. Is this a money thing again. Stupid Planet.

Re:Can someone tell me why (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299138)

Most probably because the circuits inside the robots weren't designed to stand a bombardment of radiation. A few flipped bits here and there, could potentially have catastrophic consequences.....

Re:Can someone tell me why (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299386)

I think they could use the rad-hardened chips they used in, say, SOHO, and a bot could conceivably carry a bit of plate shielding in addition. Using maybe motion capture and force feedback, control would be feasible too, and there would be no real obstacles to using bots to clean everything up.

Except thrift and greed. To grab a line from Braveheart: "Not the archers. My scouts tell me their archers are miles away and no threat to us. Arrows cost money. Use up the Irish. The dead cost nothing."
An extreme parable, but ultimately true.

Re:Can someone tell me why (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299200)

Because Mecha-Godzilla would not be pleased

Re:Can someone tell me why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36299228)

The elderly are less expensive than robots.

Cave Johnson Here (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36299048)

Good news is, the lab boys say the symptoms (...) show a median latency of forty-four point six years, so if you're thirty or older, you're laughing. Worst case scenario, you miss out on a few rounds of canasta, plus you forwarded the cause of science by three centuries. I punch those numbers into my calculator and it makes a happy face.

Can we all just learn to build better reactors... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36299114)

No structure is perfect but we should learn from from this disaster, specifically spent fuel pools and working reactors withing the same structure. Bravery is cool and all but I would wish society would stress learning from our failures instead of sacrificing for them.

-DML

but... (1)

DocZayus (1046358) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299368)

How can they clean the place up AND move around with their walkers? And really, how do they plan on moving all that heavy stuff out there? At 70+, their muscle mass is pretty much gone... Are they hoping for radioactive mutations that will make them strong again?

Character (1)

sunfly (1248694) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299416)

Some have it.

visit slashdot, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36299434)

read story, cry.

Have a required fitness level that applies to all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36299510)

If you pass the test, you are allowed in.

There are some 70 year olds that can kick your 23 year old cheeto eating ass.

Close Enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36299730)

There's a reason they're called the Greatest Generation. You just don't see this attitude in people anymore.

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