Fukushima 3 Years On

controlroomwritingsThree years ago today an unimaginable series of disasters hit Japan. What was already terrible turned into an even larger tragedy as Fukushima Daiichi began to spiral out of control. For those impacted by the disasters life is still upturned in many ways.

A number of memorial services were to be held today including attendance by the Emperor and Empress. Some towns planned to turn on their tsunami sirens at 2:46 JST, the moment the quake struck.

15,884 people died. In addition, 2,633 people remain missing
2,973 people died of causes related to the disaster
270,000 still evacuees from the tsunami and Fukushima
104,000 are in temporary housing

So much remains undetermined. What exactly will happen at the plant site remains mostly a plan for future work that could take half a century to complete. Today little is confirmed about the actual status inside the reactors. The fate of the evacuation zone and those who called it home remains undecided, suffering from a patchwork of insufficient government initiatives. The larger impact on the environment remains a question as researchers try to gather data to know the total releases from the plant. How it will evolve in the environment will take decades of monitoring to fully understand.

Solutions to all of these challenges still need to be found. They will most certainly take new creativity and innovation to make them happen. The social institutions we rely on to solve problems have struggled. What happens in the future will depend on who takes up the challenge and for what purpose.


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