A U.S. recruiter is hiring nuclear power workers in the United States to help Japan gain control of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant, which has been spewing radiation. “About two weeks ago we told our managers to put together a wish list of anyone interested in going to Japan,” said Joe Melanson, a recruiter at specialist nuclear industry staffing firm Bartlett Nuclear in Plymouth, Massachusetts, on Thursday.
The qualifications: Skills gained in the nuclear industry, a passport, a family willing to let you go, willingness to work in a radioactive zone.
The rewards: Higher than normal pay and the challenge of solving a major crisis.
“About two weeks ago we told our managers to put together a wish list of anyone interested in going to Japan,” said Joe Melanson, a recruiter at specialist nuclear industry staffing firm Bartlett Nuclear in Plymouth, Massachusetts, on Thursday.
So far, the firm has already signed up some workers who will be flying to Japan on Sunday.
Melanson said there will be less than 10 workers in the initial group. Others are expected to follow later, he added.
Plant owner Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) has appealed to the nuclear industry outside of Japan for assistance as the crisis has spiraled beyond their control.
So just what type of person would go into a damaged nuclear plant that is throwing out dangerous levels of radiation?
Melanson said these are not roughnecks prepared to risk their health for a quick paycheck but senior technicians and engineers who have come up through the ranks.
Some have families. “Anytime we have international business, it’s up to the workers to square it with their wives.”
Japan has put in an exclusion zone of 20 kilometers around the plant. Several experts have recommended that zone should be expanded.
Melanson could not say for certain where the workers would stay but said initially they would be based in Tokyo and drive the 480 kilometer (300 miles) roundtrip to the Daiichi plant. Translators will be provided so they don’t have to speak Japanese.
“The pay will definitely be better than the average pay (for a nuclear technician) over here,” Melanson said, but declined to specify exactly what the average salary would be. It is not clear how long they will be working in Japan, but Melanson estimated it would be at least a month. Source: Yahoo News (1)
The problem as I see it is that the Government has let the civilian company TEPCO stay in charge of the nuclear reactor sites when they should have put the military in charge right from the beginning.
Have you noticed the lack of a military presence at the nuclear site? The site should be crawling with robots and vehicles. Yet after a week there are only 50 TEPCO guys crammed into a control room with no one outside monitoring the actual buildings. Pumps have run out of fuel and left for hours, buildings have caught fire and only noticed by someone going outside for supplies. The cooling pool ran dry since no one was looking at it. They may be heroes for working there but the company itself has placed commercial interests over the interests of the country.
What they need is a military Nuclear response company and an the engineer brigade, that is actually located nearby, with armored NBC recce vehicles to monitor the plant and help fight the disaster like at Chernobyl. The military train for nuclear war so they have the equipment and trained personnel to work outside at the site. It has been almost a week since this started and you would think they would be better organized by now. Scary.