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Doctor describes fatigue of workers at Fukushima nuclear plant

Newly released photographs taken by a doctor who has examined workers at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant show the difficult living conditions they have endured while battling to bring the situation under control.

Takeshi Tanigawa via Reuters

Workers engaged in operations to stabilize the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power plant take a rest on the floor of a gymnasium inside the grounds of the Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Plant, about 10km away from the crippled Daiichi plant in Fukushima prefecture, northern Japan, in this photo taken May 7 and released June 2 by industrial medical doctor Takeshi Tanigawa, who examined the workers.

The Japan Times reported that Ehime University professor Takeshi Tanigawa had visited the workers twice since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that triggered a series of meltdowns at the plant. He warned that there was an increased risk of accidents because the workers had suffered from chronic sleep deprivation and fatigue, the paper said.

Takeshi Tanigawa via Reuters

Industrial medical doctor Takeshi Tanigawa, right, talks with a worker operating to stabilize the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power plant, in this photo taken April 16 and released by Tanigawa on June 2.

Tanigawa also warned that workers were at risk of developing PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) due to what they had been through in the early days of the disaster, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

See more images of the disaster in our slideshow and more pictures related to Fukushima on PhotoBlog.