The CEO of the Israeli company that installed the security system at Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant said Thursday that those workers who have elected to stay behind are "putting their lives on the line" to save Japan.
Magna BSP set up the security system about a year ago at the facility, which suffered extensive damage after the recent earthquake and tsunami, with particular concern over radiation leakage from the reactors at the site.
The system includes cameras and a warning system, enabling the facility's security staff to monitor anyone attempting to trespass onto the site or damage the perimeter fence. The security system was designed to guard the plant against any hostile elements seeking to seize radioactive material to use in a terrorist attack.
Among the 50 Japanese workers who have remained at Fukushima amid the unfolding crisis, in an effort to bring the facility under control, are two individuals who were in Israel about three weeks ago, where they underwent training to transfer the operation of the security system to the Japanese themselves.
"We still haven't been able to make contact with them, either by phone or e-mail," Magna CEO Haim Siboni said yesterday. "We know they're alive, but it's not clear if they are healthy due to the high level of radiation at the reactor, which is life-threatening."
"The Japanese workers who have remained at the reactor are really putting their lives on the line, with the knowledge that they're doing it to save all of Japan," he added.
Although there is no access to the area, Siboni said the cameras from his company's security system - which were installed high up - were probably not damaged and likely captured the post-earthquake explosions at the site, as well as the impact of the tsunami.
Magna BSP was established by Siboni about 10 years ago and is owned by several partners. Based in Dimona, the firm employs 15 people, a number which Siboni expects to expand dramatically in light of additional orders Magna has received from Japan and interest shown by the operators of nuclear reactors in other countries. Its operations in Japan are conducted through a Japanese government firm.
"We have an agreement in principle with the Japanese that we will provide protection for all of the country's nuclear reactors," Siboni said.
Magna had planned to send additional security equipment to Japan next week. The Japanese have not asked that the shipment be halted, Siboni said, adding: "They are projecting business as usual."