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Fukushima Daiichi Now: Images and Perspectives

NRC officials tour one of the damaged units at the Fukushima Daiichi plant during their trip in February.
NRC officials tour one of the damaged units at the Fukushima Daiichi plant during their trip in February.
Roger Hannah
Senior Public Affairs Officer
Region II

In February, an NRC delegation, mostly comprised of senior managers responsible for reactor oversight, travelled to Japan to see, hear about and learn from the accident there in March 2011.

I was there to record the images and sounds of the trip – from the meetings to the tours of facilities, including the stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant, and the surrounding countryside. In interviews and conversations, I heard varied perspectives, but my focus was almost completely on people:

  • The people whose homes and businesses and schools now sit abandoned near the plant – some knowing they may never go home again.
  • The people who worked at the plant during and after the accident trying to keep the situation from being worse.
  • The people who now work at the site donning protective clothing each day as they slowly tackle the mammoth cleanup.
  • The people across Japan who continue to struggle with their view of nuclear power.

I wish we had been able to spend more time in the evacuated areas near the plant, but even the hours we were there carved indelible images in my memory. It’s interesting how seeing areas without people made me think about the missing people even more.

When it comes to nuclear safety, the most important people are those working inside or living closest to the plants. There is no stronger evidence than the images we captured during the trip.

It was difficult to distill all we saw and heard into the short video we posted on the NRC YouTube channel, but I hope we were able to show the essence of the trip…and for me, it was all about people.


30 responses to “Fukushima Daiichi Now: Images and Perspectives

  1. G. Woodcock May 15, 2014 at 11:56 am

    This report, and some of the comments, are utter nonsense! All objective measurements and studies demonstrate conclusively that the radiation threat to the general public is nonexistent. No one in the general public has died or even gotten sick from radiation. No foods have been contaminated to the extent that they are a threat to human health. No ground has been contaminated to where it poses a threat to human health. Any assertions to the contrary are NOT supported by cold, objective facts and are merely anti-nuclear fearmongering! Nuclear energy is, in fact, the only technology that can supply the huge baseload requirements that civilization on this planet needs both now and in the future. And if it’s Global Warming you are worried about, I point out that nuclear energy generation is essentially carbon-free. A new, modern-day modular design is inherently safe and stable. Let’s try to get away from nuclear hysteria and stick with objective, verifiable facts.
    Gerald Woodcock, MBA

    • Public Pit Bull May 15, 2014 at 2:47 pm

      Yea tell that to all the folks slammed by the Chernobyl accident. After nearly 30 years there is a 20-mile exclusion zone around Chernobyl. Nuclear weapons and nuclear plants both leave permanent scars on people and planet earth. Just not worth it!

      • Fresh May 15, 2014 at 3:40 pm

        No evacuation zone for solar, and the profits to investors are much higher, and get returned much quicker. Kind of a no brainer. Sometimes you can’t teach and old dog new tricks….except for present company of course, LOL

    • Fresh May 15, 2014 at 3:36 pm

      Sir, your assertations are astounding
      There have been many tests on foods over allowable limits
      The ocean waters have tested at millions of times over allowable limits
      Much of the land has tested extremely high, far over limits at which evacuations were done at Chernobyl

      Not many people are buying the “global warming meme”, climate change, sure, probably more to do with the sun than human activity, and the real risk is climate change and wilder weather accompanied by global cooling which will stress food systems a lot.

      But Sir, you really should look at the facts, as just taking a hardline approach that there are no problems at Fukushima really discredits your agenda.

  2. Richard McDonald May 10, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    This video is disgusting! It was intentionally meant to present nuclear energy as dangerous and unmanageable! While the tsunami-caused disaster at F-D was a property-damage disaster, there have been no deaths due to radiation, and most people should return to their homes and businesses and resume their lives. The NRC should disband and save all of us a billion dollars a year and improve access to nuclear energy in a safer environment without the “senior staff” you show on this junket. My neutral opinion of NRC competence level just took a step (a big step) lower.

  3. Aladar Stolmar May 10, 2014 at 12:34 am

    Dear CaptD – the attitude can and schould be changed, the safety of nuclear reactors could be achieved. And if You look into the details of my proposal – it does not cost too much! However the face saving of NRC and IAEA must end! Japan’s Fukushima Trillion Dollar Eco-Disaster is too high a cost for that… And the USA should pinch in…

  4. joy cash May 9, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Over 3 yrs. later, still no safer from Fukushima radiation outcomes.
    Still no US public announcements for safety measures regarding foods, farming & fishing.
    No governmental accountability for health & safety of our citizenry.
    How can we, collectively, be such slow learners, scrambling to save a proven dangerous & out-dated energy industry from its “death throes”?

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