Fukushima, April 22: On March 2011, Japan became the victim of a Nuclear Disaster at Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. It has been six years since the accident. A major earthquake and Tsunami knocked down the power supply and cooling of three Fukushima Daiichi reactors and later 3 reactors melted down. The released substances have caused many health problems, damaged environment. The neighborhood 30 km area of Fukushima had been evacuated. Though the authority could not stop the leakage, they took immediate action.
Cleanup at the Fukushima Daichi plant
Tokyo Electric Power Company in collaboration with Japanese Government has established a road map to clean up the site, for water management, treatment of contaminated water, storage and disposal of secondary wastes, contaminated soils, vegetation, and debris. Though the task of cleaning up the planet that is the site of second of world’s worst nuclear disaster has not been easy. The cleanup task is expected to take 30-40 years. Shaun Burnie, a senior nuclear specialist at Greenpeace Germany who is based in Japan criticized Japan’s planning. “The current schedule for the removal of hundreds of tons of molten nuclear fuel, the location and condition of which they still have no real understanding, was based on the timetable of prime minister [Shinzo] Abe in Tokyo and the nuclear industry – not the reality on the ground and based on sound engineering and science.”, he said to the Guardian.
TEPCO has almost lost public faith. TEPCO has burned 1,500 tons of garbage while monitoring radiation levels of emitted smoke, but still had 70,000 cubic meters of garbage as of the end of February. A lot of rubble has remained in many buildings on the seaside. Even after six years, nearly 80,000 local residents are forced to evacuate from near the Fukushima Daiichi plant. "We have caused it. We have to make every effort to create a place to which people want to return. Nobody wants to live where the safety and security of workers are not ensured," Hirose, a spokesman for TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Decontamination & Decommissioning Engineering Co., said.
Scenario after six years
Though the nuclear scientists have criticized Japan Government and TEPCO’s planning, the plan has not failed totally. After the accident workers never could put off a normal dress due to radiation. Before entering the site the workers needed to -woven protective clothing at the "J-Village" soccer training center, located about 20 kilometers away. 6,000 workers from construction, electronics, and machinery companies, as well as 1,000 TEPCO employees, paved the way to enter Fukushima complex with normal dresses. "Our near-term goal is to create a place where they can work without worries," Daisuke Hirose, said.
Even the workers could not eat the hot meal in the sites. Now they can have hot meals at a cafeteria with around 200 seats, hot meals using ingredients from Fukushima Prefecture, ranging from a bowl of noodle soup to a set menu with stir-fried pork, are delivered from a central kitchen in Okuma, about 9 kilometers away from the plant. "I used to eat cold rice balls. Hot meals make me happy and motivate me to work," a worker happily said.
There were 1,200 cherry trees in the vicinity. This is the season of cherry blossom viewing, the season of spring cultures in Japan. Before the disaster, local residents were invited to enjoy watching cherry blossoms. Now there are 400 trees and no one comes to enjoy but this season workers are waving “hello” to each other happily under the tree tunnel with casual dresses no dust mask.
Though the government lifted the evacuation order in 2015, only senior citizens returned to the city. After six years of the disaster, 105 students turned up at Naraha Elementary and Junior High School for the beginning of the Japanese school year. With the revival of green, the city is experiencing renewal from its ruin.