Two and a half years ago, Ayako Oga, now 30, found herself helpless as an earthquake and the tsunami it triggered hit Japan and crippled four reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. She and her husband were forced to abandon their village Ookuma Machi, barely five kilometres away.
Life for Yoshihiro Watanabe and his wife Mutsuko, mushroom and rice farmers from Fukushima, has changed drastically since the disastrous meltdowns in the Dai Ichi nuclear plant that was hit by a massive tsunami after a 9.0 strong earthquake struck on Mar. 11, 2011.
The United Nations has come under criticism from medical experts and members of civil society for what these critics consider inaccurate statements about the effects of lingering radioactivity on local populations.
Over one million kgs of nuclear waste sit in limbo on the banks of the Hudson River, in dry cask storage units and spent fuel pools just 60 kms north of New York City, according to environmental organisations.
Pushed and pulled in opposite directions, the future of Japan’s energy plans in the wake of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant two years ago is emerging as a fight between national economic advancement and what anti-nuke activists call “the lives of the people”.
Two years after Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the country faces 100 to 250 billion dollars in cleanup and compensation costs, tens of thousands of displaced people and widespread impacts of radiation.
Japan has promised to scrap the crippled Fukushima nuclear reactors that faced the world’s worst nuclear accident. But Hiroyuki Watanabe, councillor in Iwaki City located 30 kilometres from the accident site, greets such intentions on the second anniversary of the disaster on Monday with misgiving.
Japan prepares to mark the second anniversary of the Mar. 11 triple disaster - an earthquake, tsunami and a critical nuclear reactor accident - with much soul searching across the country.
For the former industrial engineer Yastel Yamada, retirement does not mean he intends to sit back. Instead, the 73-year-old and about 700 other skilled seniors across Japan are eager to volunteer to tackle the most dangerous part of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant cleanup and spare a younger generation from the effects of extreme radiation.
Japan's crippled nuclear power plant is struggling to find space to store tens of thousands of tonnes of highly contaminated water used to cool the broken reactors, the manager of the water treatment team has said.