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Even though the ranks of the "Fukushima 50"--self-sacrificing workers tasked with stabilizing the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant--have swelled since the initial disaster, observers are only now getting a clearer picture of the on-the-ground situation. Apparently, that has been deliberate, a mother of one of the workers tells Fox News. The situation, according to her, is quite bad.

In the past week or so we've learned that workers, some pictured refueling a power generator, have reportedly been rationed two meals of crackers and rice a day and sleep with lead sheeting at night in order to shield themselves from high levels of radiation. A few have had radioactive water seep into their boots and have been hospitalized, and all risk censure from TEPCO for speaking to media outlets about their conditions.

Email exchanges and a blog post written by these workers have expressed deep frustration with the Tokyo Electric Power Company even as they display a firm resolve to do whatever it takes to stabilize the plant.

The latest first-hand account of this kind has been relayed by Fox News, who spoke with an anonymous mother of a 32-year-old plant worker at Fukushima. She explained that, in order to "minimize public panic," plant workers had been asked not to describe the details of the workers. However, she told Fox what her son had confided to her about the ever-present radiation danger. Excerpt below:

"He told me they have accepted they will all probably die from radiation sickness in the short term or cancer in the long-term...They have concluded between themselves that it is inevitable some of them may die within weeks or months. They know it is impossible for them not to have been exposed to lethal doses of radiation."



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