Hisashi Ouchi Wiki – Hisashi Ouchi Biography
Hisashi Ouchi, a worker at a Japanese nuclear fuel plant was exposed to critical levels of radiation. He suffered the worst radiation. A Japanese nuclear disaster on September 30, 1999 was the world’s worst since Chernobyl and left the world’s ‘most radioactive’ man with ‘melted skin’. That victim was Hisashi Ouchi, a worker at the uranium processing plant in Tokaimura, 70 miles northeast of Tokyo, who was exposed to a massive dose of radiation that left him severely burned. This was to be the first of 83 days of unimaginable suffering in critical condition for the 35-year-old man who died on December 21 after begging doctors to stop treating him months earlier.
The accident was the result of a series of fatal mistakes while he and his colleagues were preparing uranium for use as reactor fuel at the private plant, even transporting the uranium in buckets, and without wearing proper protective gear. Technicians Ouchi and Masato Shinohara, with supervisor Yutaka Yokokawa, were speeding up the conversion process by putting 16kg of uranium into a tank that had a 2.4kg ceiling cap, when a chain reaction was set off when Ouchi “covered” the tank. He was exposed to 17 Sieverts of radiation; by comparison, emergency services at Chernobyl were exposed to 0.25, more than double what is considered a lethal dose. That is also the record amount of radiation in any living person, making him the most irradiated man in history, sometimes referred to as “the most radioactive” in the world.
Hisashi Ouchi was 35 years old.
Hisashi Ouchi Suffered an 83-day Death By Radiation Poisoning
He and his co-workers reported seeing a blue flash over the vat, an indication that a reaction similar to what occurs inside an atomic bomb has occurred, releasing deadly neutron radiation. Colleagues quickly lost consciousness as alarms went off inside the plant and radiation levels spiked to 4,000 times typical levels. The surrounding area was evacuated, with many unaware that the unassuming building was a nuclear facility. Ouchi was rushed to Tokyo University Hospital, where doctors discovered that he had almost no white blood cells and required extensive skin grafts and multiple blood transfusions. Local reports at the time claimed that he too was left ‘crying blood’ and begged doctors to stop treating him.
However, he was resuscitated after multiple heart attacks on his 59th day in the hospital. Ouchi finally died on December 21, 1999, and a few months later, in April 2000, Shinohara, his technical partner, died of multiple organ failure at age 40. Yokokawa, the supervisor, was also hospitalized, but was released after three months with mild radiation sickness. He later faced charges of professional negligence in October 2000, along with five other JCO officials, who pleaded guilty in April 2001. The JCO subsequently paid $121 million to settle 6,875 compensation claims from individuals and companies who had suffered radiation. or had been exposed to it. and he also lost his credentials to operate nuclear plants. The incident also kicked off a series of new laws in Japan, aimed at tightening requirements around operational safety in the nuclear power industry.