Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: Ten Years Later


Remembering the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Ten Years Later

by Theresa Machemer/Smithsonianmag.com

On March 11 at 2:46 p.m., residents across Japan observed a moment of silence to remember the thousands of people killed or lost when a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck the country just one decade ago, Donican Lam reports for Kyodo News. The 2011 earthquake and subsequent tsunami killed 15,900 people, and subsequent deaths from illness and suicide linked to the disaster totaled 3,775. Today, about 2,500 people are still considered missing.

Anniversary memorial services in Japan were largely cancelled last year amid the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. This year, the country recognized the date with a national memorial service in Tokyo, as well as local memorials in affected regions. The ten-year anniversary also offers a milestone to revisit the progress of rebuilding the areas affected by the tsunami, including Fukushima, where the 50-foot-tall wave caused a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Officials say that cleaning out the melted nuclear fuel from inside of the three damaged reactors could take 30 to 40 years. Critics say that timeline is optimistic, Mari Yamaguchi reports for the Associated Press.

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  1. UNIS/OUS/419
    “VIENNA, 9 March (UN Information Service) – A decade after the triple tragedy that occurred in Japan in March 2011, the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) said that future health effects, e.g. cancer directly related to radiation exposure are unlikely to be discernible, in its 2020 Report launched today.

    “Since the UNSCEAR 2013 Report, no adverse health effects among Fukushima residents have been documented that could be directly attributed to radiation exposure from the accident,” noted Ms. Gillian Hirth, Chair, UNSCEAR.”

  2. Wasn’t all life on Earth supposed to be over by now?
    There seem to be parallels between the anti-CO2 and anti-fission power Public Relations groups.
    If CO2 were a real problem and We wanted all Humans to have washing machines then well regulated fission is part of a solution.
    How do you clean your jeans?

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