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Fukushima boss hailed as hero dies

Justin McCurry
London Guardian [1]
July 10, 2013

Masao Yoshida – whose actions as manager of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant during its triple meltdown averted an even greater disaster – has died.

Yoshida, 58, took early retirement from the plant’s operator, Tepco, in late 2011 after being diagnosed with oesophageal cancer. He died in a Tokyo hospital on Tuesday, reports said.

Tepco and Yoshida, a heavy smoker, said the cancer was not related to the nuclear accident caused by the March 2011 tsunami that hit Japan.

Although Tepco has been widely criticised for its handling of the accident, Yoshida’s courage and refusal to follow orders from the firm’s headquarters after the plant was struck by a 42-foot tsunami on the afternoon on 11 March 2011 have been credited with preventing a catastrophic release of radiation that could have forced the evacuation of Tokyo.

Full article here [1]