Japanese seniors volunteer for “suicide corps”

Group hopes to assist in crisis at troubled Fukushima reactor

250 Japanese retirees are volunteering to work on the front lines of one of worst nuclear meltdowns in history. They’re called the Skilled Veterans Corps, and they hope to help end the crisis at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The group is made up of people who are at least 60 years old. They say they are less susceptible to dangerous levels of radiation since the cells of an older person divide more slowly than those of the young.“We work instead of them,” said Yasuteru Yamada, 72, to CNN. “Elders have less sensitivity to radiation. Therefore, we have to work.”  An advisor to the Japanese prime minister has called the group the “suicide corps,” but many of the volunteers dislike the label, saying they simply can’t allow younger people to work in a radioactive environment. So far, the owners of the power plant have declined to accept the seniors as volunteer workers.


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