Workers at the disaster-stricken Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan say they expect to die from radiation sickness as a result of their efforts to bring the reactors under control, the mother of one of the men tells Fox News

via Japans Nuclear Rescuers: Inevitable Some of Them May Die Within Weeks – FoxNews.com.

On the other hand, speaking of the development of super drugs to tackel radiation sickness, this story says,

 it is unclear whether anyone in Japan, even workers at the Fukushima plant, have been exposed to enough radiation to warrant such treatments.

via Nuclear Crisis Adds Urgency to Develop Radiation Drugs – NYTimes.com.

Which to believe?

All one can reasonably do is remain open to the possibility that either one may turn out to be true or more accurate than the other. We just have to wait until more data is available. Neither article provides any data to support its contention (the first article is simply reporting an interview with the mother of one of the workers).

The conditions in the Fukushima nuclear plant do not sound good, and the details mentioned in the Fox news article had previously been reported on Japanese TV (I saw them on Mino Monta’s morning show, 5:30-8:30 Mainichi Broadcasting: みのもんたの朝ズバッ!)

Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says that workers were only eating two basic meals of crackers and dried rice a day, and sleeping in conference rooms and hallways in the building.

According to Kaieda, not all of the workers had apparently been provided with lead sheeting to shield themselves from potentially radiation-contaminated floors while sleeping.

Mino Monta had on his show on Thursday morning a former TEPCO worker (BTW, “TEPCO” is known in Japan as “To-den” (pronounced “taw den”, a shortening of Tokyo Denryoku; no-one understands me when I say “Tepco”).

 This young man explained, in addition to the above, that

  • the reason for the meagre diet is not just shortage of supplies, but also because the sewage system is not working properly: it help prevent toilet overflows, in other words!
  • those “radiation suits”? They’re not. They are just work overalls. They’re made of nylong, and as far as protection from radiation is concerned, one might as well be naked. 

Beat Takeshi, on his show, listed some demands. Amongst them were, “drop this stupid dual  50 Hz/60Hz system nonsense” and “give all the Fukushima plant workers National Medals of Honour”.