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Many people have been concerned that the Japanese or American government is hiding info about the radiation risk from Fukushima. In this exclusive interview, Ryohsuke Kimura, a former worker at the Japanese power plant, describes how he survived the deadly tsunami in March, 2011.
"I'll never forget where I was, I'll never forget what I was doing, I'll never forget 3/11/2011. At that time, I was an assistant welder. On March 11th, I had work at a nuclear power plant. If you didn't know, that day Japan had an earthquake. One of the power plants had a really severe accident from the subsequent tsunami. After the tsunami hit, the power plants lost all of their emergency generators to the sea-water.
Usually, I had to work in the nuclear reactor building for both the morning and afternoon shift. That morning I worked in the basement of the reactor building. However, only that day, my company didn't have enough work. I didn't even need to work in the reactor building for the afternoon. Moreover, I didn't even need to go to the bayside for work.
I just stayed in my company's office to tidy up with my colleagues, in preparation for new co-workers. At 2:46PM, suddenly a lot of cell phones were alerted by something (most Japanese cell phones have earthquake alerts). Ten seconds later, I felt a huge earthquake in the office. First, I tried to hide below the table, but a few seconds later I realized the table might not be strong enough. If I didn't want to die, I had to escape immediately.
That office building had four floors, but fortunately the welding company was on the first floor. When I decided to escape, a saw the office room was made a mess by the earthquake. I had never seen a room in such condition before.
I dashed out of the office and saw a number of workers in front of the building. They were in a panic. Broken windows were scattered on the flower bed, cars were hopping in the parking lot like low-riders, and the asphalt waved up and down. Unfortunately, at that time we had snow, and we had to report to the boss to take attendance, so we couldn't leave immediately.
I wanted to go home right away, but at the same time, I was thinking, "This earthquake could be written about in textbooks for generations." However, it was a much more serious situation than I realized, because my family and I had to evacuate for a long time.
During this natural disaster, I tried to remain positive. It was important to keep a healthy outlook in such unusual conditions. I tried to enjoy the crazy moments, almost like it was a game of sorts. I enjoyed gathering information and looking for a radio tower for mobile phone service. One should always try to remain positive, especially in times of trouble (if life hands you lemons, make lemonade!). Don't ever give up hope, even in the middle of a natural disaster!"