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This is the 15th in a series on the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe based on the accounts of people who struggled to contain the crisis in its early stages. Job titles and ages are as of March 2011.

For Airi Ide, leaving the Fukushima No. 1 power plant in the midst of the nuclear crisis was the hardest thing to do. She desperately wanted to continue helping her colleagues bring the reactors under control.

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