Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Monday, March 5, 2012

Medical personnel quitting Fukushima due to lingering fears of radiation exposure

FUKUSHIMA -- Fears of radiation exposure continue to haunt people in Fukushima Prefecture, nearly one year after the March 11 megaquake and tsunami triggered the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.

Some residents are falling ill after being deprived of an ordinary life at home and in the office. Meanwhile, 62,674 residents, or roughly 3 percent of the prefecture's pre-disaster population, have evacuated outside the prefecture as of Feb. 23.

Even worse, harmful rumors still abound and are affecting local agriculture and tourism.

Just before 6 a.m. on a regular working day, a radiological technologist in his 30s removes snow from the roof of his car at his home in Yonezawa, Yamagata Prefecture, before heading for a hospital in the city of Fukushima. He normally returns home after midnight.

Heavy snow this winter is a big challenge for him and other drivers as they travel the Kuriko mountain pass linking Yonezawa and Fukushima. A roundtrip takes five hours. Sometimes his car gets stuck in the snow, and he has to shovel snow, wondering, "What am I doing here?" Read More