Interesting story from Miyagi, the prefecture north of Fukushima that was also hit by the devastating tsunamis in 2011. It seems that the head monk at a temple there had bought an old second-hand Seiko clock, more than 100 years old, which he hung in the temple building.
March 11th marks the 10th anniversary of the Tōhoku tsunami and consequent Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear meltdowns. It’s hard to believe it’s been a decade already.
My memories of that time include the quake itself rocking our Tokyo apartment – the strongest one I have ever experienced, a 5.8 on the Richter scale, as household goods came crashing down around me. Of the many images broadcast on Japanese TV in the hours after the tsunami hit, the one that really stayed with me was an image of an entire house on fire being carried inland, across rice fields, by the tsunami.
Very little, other than the damage to the reputation of Fukushima fish (which is completely unwarranted) and to sales for Fukushima fishermen. This is based in fear rather than science.
Your question mentions contaminated water, as if the water was being pumped straight out of the reactor basements. This will not be the case. It is first treated to remove most radioactive contaminants.
After the explosions at Fukushima Dai-ichi scattered radiation in much of the prefecture, more than 40 countries refused to import food items from Japan, dealing a grievous blow to the famers and fishermen of the prefecture. In addition, many within Japan would also not buy food or fish products from Fukushima and neighbouring prefectures.
One unintended consequences of the Fukushima nuclear disaster almost a decade ago is that Japan now plans to build as many as 22 new coal-burning power plants — one of the dirtiest sources of electricity — at 17 different sites over the next five years. This is at a time when the world needs to slash carbon dioxide emissions to fight global warming. Together, the 22 power plants would emit almost as much carbon dioxide annually as all the passenger cars sold each year in the United States.
In just three years the Fukushima Dai-ichi site will have no more room to make the specialised tanks that are used store water that has been used to cool the melted reactors, or has seeped through the site from the surrounding hills. There’s currently over 1.15 million tons of this radioactive water being stored at the facility in 960 tanks and it’s continuing to accumulate at a rate of about 150 tons a day, meaning the tanks could reach full capacity by the summer of 2022.
It has been eight years now since the meltdowns, and the water just off the Dai-ichi plant still contains contamination that washed there from the plant. But, a little further away, Kitai-izumi Beach is now open again. It is a popular spot for surfers as it gets some of the best waves in Japan, as you can see in the photo.
A major problem at Fukushima Dai-ichi is the flow of groundwater through the plant from the surrounding hills. This water flows into the irradiated debris in the basements of the destroyed reactors and then from there into the sea.
What is your writing process?
I am basically a reader of non-fiction. As such I read and gather information every day. Once I have an outline of the book and each paragraph I try to gather the essence of my sources and put them in folders with descriptive names onto my desktop. To write well I need to be well rested and undisturbed for 5-6 hours.