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Workers at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

As the crisis was unfolding, Yoshihiro Sato went back and forth repeatedly between the Fukushima Daiichi headquarters at its Seismic Isolated Building and the control room of the nuclear reactor to obtain data. Since he had worked for TEPCO for thirty years, mainly at the control room, he knew everything about the plant and felt little fear even in the station blackout. He was utterly desperate to fulfill his mission.

Mr. Sato on a TEPCO decommission newsletter. “Since that day,  I have an ‘Operator’s Spirit’ and love for Fukushima.”

He was born and lived near JR Odaka Station in Minamisoma City. He was at an education center near Fukushima Daiichi on March 11, 2011. The next morning he told his wife that he would be back home in a couple of days and went to the nuclear plant. He was at the control room at 15:36 on that day, when a hydrogen explosion occurred at the unit 1 reactor. An evacuation order was issued for a 20 kilometer radius (12.4mi), but he remained in the nuclear plant and worked day and night. When he finally left Daiichi for the first time in two weeks, he returned to find his house empty. He eventually found his wife at his daughter’s apartment in Sendai.

When the evacuation order for Odaka was lifted in 2016, he returned to Odaka with his wife and daughter. He was afraid that his neighbors would blame him for the nuclear accident, but was relieved to find that they were as they had always been.

He sincerely wants to contribute to the decommission of the nuclear plant and the restoration of Odaka Town.

Filed image of checking
data from the reactors
Filed image of the control room
Mr. Sato’s office at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant