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The Fukushima Wasteland: "Terrifying" Drone Footage Of Japan's Abandoned Nuclear Exclusion Zone

While the world has had decades of opportunities to observe

the consequences of human civilization, particularly at the site of the original nuclear disaster, Chernobyl, there has been far less media coverage for obvious reasons, of that other nuclear disaster, Fukushima, where as we reported last night, one year after giving up on its "ice wall" idea Tepco has renewed the strategy of encasing the radioactive sarcophagus in an ice wall.

It was not precisely clear why this time the idea is expected to work after it was nixed last summer.

What is clear is that something has to be done, because as renewed interest in the aftermath of the results of the 2011 disaster once again builds ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the public is realizing just how vast the Japanese wasteland truly is.

And capturing just that, is this eerie drone overflight of the Fukushima graveyard shown in the clip below:

 

For those curious for more, here, courtesy of photographer Arkadiusz Podniesinski who donned protective gear to visit the "terrifying" - in his words - ghost towns of Futaba, Namie and Tomioka last month, we get an up close an personal photo essay of this generation's Chernobyl.

This is what he found: supermarket aisles strewn with packets. A school blackboard covered with notes for an unfinished lesson. Cars tangled with weeds in an unending traffic jam.

These are eerie pictures from inside the 20km exclusion zone around Fukushima nuclear plant, courtesy of Guardian.

 

The photographer, Arkadiusz Podniesinski, stands on one of the main streets of Futaba. The writing above him says: “Nuclear energy is the energy of a bright future.”

 

A street that has been taken over by nature. Four years after the catastrophe – which drove 160,000 people from their homes – much of the region is still too dangerous to enter.

 

The KFC Colonel and mannequins left standing in a supermarket.  “Here time has stood still, as if the accident happened yesterday,” says Podniesinski of the most-contaminated areas.

 

An aerial photograph of abandoned vehicles.

 

An aerial photograph of dump sites, taken by a drone. Contaminated radioactive topsoil from the fields has been bagged for removal and there have been efforts to clean deeper layers. To save space, the soil is stacked in layers.

 

A restaurant table with crockery left behind by guests. The huge task of decontaminating the area, site of the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986, continues. Thousands of workers move from street to street through villages, spraying and scrubbing the walls and roofs of houses.

 

Car bumpers overgrown with weeds. Some of the people Podniesinski spoke to doubt the official line that the area will be safe again in 30 years. “They are worried that the radioactive waste will be there for ever,” he says.

 

A classroom on the first floor in a school. There is still a mark below the blackboard showing the level of the tsunami wave. On the blackboard are words written by former residents, schoolchildren and workers in an attempt to keep up the morale of all of the victims, including “We can do it, Fukushima!”