It is easy to admit that we’re about to exploit about a month of diary entries from a brave man’s life in order to get you to read this piece, and the other things we publish here on Giant Robot. Because, well, it’s partly true. But the majority of the truth about what we are presenting to you is that it gives detailed (one might even call some of it dry and mundane) insight into the thoughts and processes one Japanese man experienced before, during and after participating in the cleanup of radioactive debris at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in Japan.
He isn’t one of the Fukushima 50. The diary entries he made available online start on May 26th and end on July 3rd, 2011, well after the day of March 15th when the 50 stayed behind to control the damage and fire at Fukushima Unit 4. No, the man who wrote these diary entries is (if he still has his job) a robot operator, of a robotic system called “Warrior”. From the diary entries it is apparent that he was assigned to Fukushima to prepare and operate specialized remote-controlled robotic equipment for the purpose of assessing damage and clearing debris within Fukushima Unit 3.
We’re presenting only about half of the robot operator’s diaries here, the entries which cover June 11th through July 3rd, 2011. These entries detail the operator’s thoughts during the days right before preparing for and performing the dangerous task assigned to him in the debris and radiation of Fukushima Unit 3. Some of his thoughts are humorous, but most are very business-like and even grave. We have pulled some of the more interesting, insightful and inspiring quotes from the diary entries and printed them below.