There are about 700 not 50 workers, engaged in the daily struggle with the invisible enemy at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant as reported by the foreign media, leading Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun sought to clarify.
Fukushima 50 is the name given by the foreign media to a group of employees of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. When a nuclear accident resulted in a serious fire at the plant's unit 4 on 15 March 2011, these 50 employees remained on-site after 750 other workers were evacuated.
Immediately after the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake, the number of TEPCO employees and others from the firm's business partners, such as Toshiba Corp. and Hitachi Ltd., at Fukushima No. 1 totaled more than 700, the Asahi Shimbun report said.
Their number was initially announced as 50. Because of that, foreign media labeled them the Fukushima 50, and the heroic tag stuck, the newspaper noted, before adding, today, the more accurate Fukushima 700 at the plant is classified into such groups as recovery, information, medical service and security.
When the crisis began in mid-March, many workers stayed in the plant's compound for more than 10 days in a row. At present, they are reportedly working in alternate shifts, taking two days off at a time.