Life on the job with a team of nuclear divers. As nuclear power plants age, they require more upkeep—and much of that work can happen underwater:

Last March, a tsunami hit Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, leading to a disastrous series of reactor meltdowns. The consequences were immediate. Germany vowed to phase out nuclear power, and other countries spoke of following suit. In the U.S., the nuclear-energy renaissance was left suspended in time. But even as its future remains uncertain, nuclear energy remains an indisputable part of our present. And as our power plants continue aging with no viable replacements, the challenges facing the nuclear industry will only continue to grow. So will the potential for another disaster. The threat of radiation poisoning hangs over everyone who works at or lives near a nuclear plant, but no one more than the divers, who literally swim in the stuff.

“Swimming on the Hot Side.” — David Goodwillie, Popular Science

See also: “The Unsung Hero of the Nuclear Age.” Ron Ronsenbaum, Slate, Feb. 28, 2011