Yesterday, I had an article published in The Japan Times about the mental health problems that are still being tackled by Fukushima nuclear plant workers and other early respondents to the disasters.
Titled "Battling nuclear demons: Mental health issues haunt those who were the first line of defense after 3/11" the feature article includes interviews with response workers, including a former employee of plant operator TEPCO, and researchers who have been involved in surveying the mental health of hundreds of plant engineers who were at the Fukushima No. 1 plant when it experienced multiple meltdowns and explosions in March 2011.
It also looks at the impact of the nuclear fallout on the health of hundreds of US sailors who are now in the process suing TEPCO.
In "Yoshida's Dilemma" I touched upon this subject, though it was only while research this story that I understood the full impact that the nuclear crisis had on some of the plant workers, some of whom have suffered far more intense and persistent symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Responses than others. It was also disturbing to hear some of the stories of the US sailors who have suffered a variety of ailments allegedly due to radiation exposure. Most prominent among them are mental health issues.
Over the next week I will include additional information about this issue on this blog, as well as an interview with one of the legal team representing the US sailors.