Fukushima nuclear manager died of cancer

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The "hero of Fukushima" died two years after the tsunami

The former head of the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant, Masao Yoshida, died of esophageal cancer two years after the devastating tsunami last Tuesday. The man was called the "hero of Fukushima" in Japan because he disregarded orders and thus prevented an even bigger catastrophe.

Former Fukushima nuclear manager prevented further meltdowns As the operator of the 2011 Fukushima, Tepco nuclear power plant said, the former director of the facility died of esophageal cancer in a hospital last Tuesday. There is no connection between the illness of 58-year-old Masao Yoshida and the accident.

The former head of the nuclear power plant is celebrated in Japan as the "hero of Fukushima" because his courageous actions prevented an even worse catastrophe - further meltdowns. Despite orders from Tepco to the contrary, Masao Yoshida ensured that sea water was pumped into the damaged reactors for cooling in the first hours after the tsunami hit on March 11, 2011 - knowing that this would irreparably destroy the plant. He allegedly even ignored instructions from the Japanese Prime Minister. "I thought I was going to die several times," Masao Yoshida later reported of the dramatic hours after the tsunami.

Fukushima nuclear manager's esophageal cancer allegedly unrelated to disaster Despite his courageous efforts, the man was accused after the accident of being partly to blame for the disaster because he had not provided adequate protection against tsunamis. Masao Yoshida publicly apologized for it. At the time, he explained that he could not have imagined that a tsunami could reach such proportions.

For a long time, the former director of the nuclear reactor tried to keep his illness secret. In November 2011, he left Tepco after working for the company for 33 years. It can only be speculated whether the esophageal cancer actually has nothing to do with the accident. Tepco thinks a connection is very unlikely. (ag)

Image: Thommy Weiss / pixelio.de

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