Faceless 50: When Workers Face Extraordinary Responsibilities

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The world’s eyes are on the "Faceless 50" workers at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station as they struggle to keep potential radiation leaks under control. Though the workers' identities are unknown, their incredibly stressful task has captured our imaginations. The United States also has people working in fields where the willingness to risk your life in a catastrophe is part of the deal. Is it worth it? And who gets left behind to fight the good fight? 

For the past several days, the world’s eyes have been on the workers at the Fukushima nuclear plant. Although for now they are nameless and faceless, they’ve captured our imaginations and made us think: what does it take to do that job?   
We decided to take a look at the people here in the United States working in fields where risking your life in a large-scale catastrophe is part of the deal. 
With us is Andrew Kadak, who joined us two days ago as an expert in nuclear engineering and science, but ALSO worked at a nuclear power plant in Massachusetts and served as its CEO for many years. Hi, Andrew. 
Also joining us is Davitt McAteer, Vice President of Sponsored Programs at Wheeling Jesuit University. He’s had a long career in mining safety and health, and is currently heading the investigation of Upper Big Branch Mine disaster in W. Virginia. Welcome Davitt. 

Former MIT nuclear scientist and engineer Andrew Kadak worked for many years at a nuclear power plant in Massachusetts, serving as its CEO. Mike Guillerman, author of "Face Boss: Memoir of a Kentucky Coal Miner" is also an 18-year mining veteran. They explain the training and sacrifices that workers in their fields must be willing to make. 


Michael D. Guillerman and Andrew Kadak

Produced by:

Valerie Lapinski and Jillian Weinberger

Comments [1]

anita louis from morristown, nj

Do what u have to do? Kadak is not pragmatic but dangerously unfeeling and disrespecting the 50. Soldiers who sign up for front line duty get honored for heroic service. Guillerman said, nuclear plant deaths are rare. Training and simulations do not equal the immersion of reality. These workers probably never expected they would be in this situation. The 50 ARE heroes.

Mar. 18 2011 06:01 AM

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