Home > Happenings > The Charge of the Fukushima Fifty

The Charge of the Fukushima Fifty

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Advanced the one-eighty.
‘Forward, the Fukushima Fifty!
Charge for the cores he said:
Into the valley of Death
Advanced the one-eighty.

‘Forward, the Fukushima Fifty!’
Was there a man dismay’d?
Not tho’ the workers knew
Some one had blunder’d:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Advanced the one-eighty.

Poison to right of them,
Poison to left of them,
Poison in front of them
Unseen and unheard;
Pack’d together they dwell,
Boldly they advanced and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Advanced the one-eighty.

Flash’d all their tools bare,
Flash’d as they turned in air
Holding the fires there,
Charging through poison while
All the world wonder’d:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro’ the line they broke;
Worker and technician
Reel’d as the battered-stoke
Shatter’d and sunder’d.
Then they rushed back, but not
Not the one-eighty.

Poison to right of them,
Poison to left of them,
Poison behind them
Unseen and unheard;
The peril thus theirs to quell,
When dusk and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro’ the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of one-eighty.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wonder’d.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Fukushima Fifty,
Noble one-eighty!

– Adapted from ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’ by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Art by Sky, Hikari+, トウマ反省中, PoN, ニグ, and kumata.

Additional Info from Wikipedia:

The Fukushima 50 was the name given to the employees of the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant who volunteered to remain on-site after other 800 workers were evacuated during the Fukushima I nuclear accidents on the morning 15 March 2011 to continue to attempt to bring the reactors under control.

On the morning of the 16 March the remaining workers had to be evacuated for a brief period of time due to a radiation spike which was detected which could be harmful to the workers health. It was reported that when they returned to the plant, a further 130 or so workers joined their colleagues – original 50 known as the “Fukushima 50” – tallying a total of around 180 to stabilise the reactors.

The workers are reported to be taking turns eating and sleeping in a decontaminated refuge area of the power plant, with ABC News reporting the refuge area was about “the size of an average living room”.

Levels of radiation on site are far higher than in the 20 km exclusion zone and media outlets reported that the severity of the situation could have grave implications on their future health, with possibly fatal consequences for the workers.

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