Tokyo Electric Power Co is reportedly offering hazard pay of up to $5,000 per day (or for a fraction of a day, since shifts must be very short for health reasons) to workers who agree to try to bring its severely damaged nuclear power plant under control. Workers are being brought closer to sources of radiation in an attempt to end the nuclear crisis, sparked by last month’s earthquake and tsunami. One official says the company has jobs for “jumpers,” or workers who “jump” into highly radioactive areas to finish a job in a short amount of time, then race out again. In some cases, jumpers can only make such a trip once in their entire lives or risk serious radiation poisoning. The company recently said it will permanently shut down at least four of the six reactors at the plant, but first it has to stabilize and cool the fuel, and clean up radiation-contaminated water.
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