The Real Costs

Abby Zimet

It's painful to see the horrors in Japan ceaselessly unfolding - snow must be Dante's 10th circle of suffering - but impossible to look away. For starters: a look at the so-called Fukushima 50, the band of nuclear technicians who stayed behind in hellish, probably fatal conditions for days to try and avert a meltdown. With radiation levels rising - one estimate has the exposed rods delivering a fatal dose in 16 seconds - officials have now increased the number of workers to about 300. That effort feels largely futile, like the surreal dumping of water from the air. Meanwhile, area residents remain  stranded by lack of gas, and others' fears of contamination if they come to help.  Finally, one thing we can do: Save The Children has an emergency appeal.

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