Fukushima: Animals thriving in rivers, yards near radioactive plants 4 years after 2011 disaster

A Japanese official said wildlife was flourishing around the wrecked nuclear power plant in the region following the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami. The Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, located 175 miles northeast of Tokyo,…

Fukushima: Animals thriving in rivers, yards near radioactive plants 4 years after 2011 disaster

A Japanese official said wildlife was flourishing around the wrecked nuclear power plant in the region following the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami.

The Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, located 175 miles northeast of Tokyo, suffered a meltdown in reactor No. 1 after a giant wave slammed into the plant, which is 230 miles north of Tokyo. The massive earthquake and tsunami caused meltdowns at three of the plant’s six reactors.

The plant was declared a total loss on March 16, 2011. Japan surrendered control of the plant to the Tokyo Electric Power Co. in June 2012.

“We really have to stop our criticism, just praise the courage, determination and sheer human will that went into rebuilding the contaminated towns and villages of Fukushima,” Tatsuya Miyagawa, the Japanese chief cabinet secretary, said in a speech. “At the same time, this has to be the biggest nuclear energy polluter in the world. And of course, there is always an uneasy feeling over the contaminated environment.”

“It’s not just fish. You can have walking turtles and chipmunks and birds and bees and moths,” Kenji Arhinaga, a veterinarian from Shizuoka prefecture who has investigated the area, told the Wall Street Journal.

Part of Fukushima has been decommissioned, leaving only three reactor units and a backup cooling system working after the loss of cooling abilities in the accident.

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