A vending machine, carried by the 2011 tsunami, sits in the middle of a rice field in Minamisoma, Japan. The Guardian has a gallery of photos from abandoned areas around the doomed Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. (Photo: Damir Sagoli / Reuters via The Guardian)
A couple returns to their abandoned hometown — and home — in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, two years after the tsunami. (Photo: Frank Robichon / EPA via NBC News)
The Washington Post visits the Japanese ghost town of Namie, which lies within the 12-mile exclusion zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, finding neatly-stacked newspapers dated March 12 — the day after an earthquake and tsunami devastated the nation.
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Journalists are allowed en masse for the first time inside the destroyed Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant — and the ghost towns within the 12-mile-radius exclusion zone.
(Pool photo: David Guttenfelder via the New York Times)
BABY’S LAMA Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama holds his hand up to a train window to greet a baby held by its mother at the Koriyama railway station in northern Japan. The Dalai Lama was there to deliver a speech to Fukushima residents racked with the aftermath of the March 11 tsunami and the accident at the city’s nuclear power plant. (Photo: Kimimasa Mayama / EPA via the Telegraph)
Thousands of people from across Japan, including a man and his daughter from Fukushima, attended an antinuclear rally in Tokyo on Monday. (Photo: Yuriko Nakao / Reuters via the Wall Street Journal)
Workers at the all-but-destroyed Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan continue to face dangerous — even deadly — levels of radiation in their ongoing attempts to stabilize the plant. Via MSNBC.com:
Pockets of lethal levels of radiation have been detected at Japan’s crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in a reminder of the risks faced by workers battling to contain the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.
Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) reported on Monday that radiation exceeding 10 sieverts (10,000 millisieverts) per hour was found at the bottom of a ventilation stack standing between two reactors.
Tepco said Tuesday it found another spot on the ventilation stack itself where radiation exceeded 10 sieverts per hour, a level that could lead to incapacitation or death after just several seconds of exposure.
The company used equipment to measure radiation from a distance and was unable to ascertain the exact level because the device’s maximum reading is 10 sieverts.
While Tepco said the readings would not hinder its goal of stabilizing the Fukushima reactors by January, experts warned that worker safety could be at risk if the operator prioritized hitting the deadline over radiation risks.
(Handout image taken by a gamma ray camera showing the bottom of a ventilation stack where radiation exceeding 10 sieverts per hour - seen here in red - by TEPCO via Reuters / MSNBC.com)
Nuclear experts say new findings of highly toxic plutonium in the soil outside Japan’s beleaguered Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant show the crisis unleashed by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami is far from over.
"Minute amounts of plutonium have been detected for the first time in soil outside the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant," Japanese broadcaster NHK reported today.
Japanese researchers who analyzed roadside soil samples taken some 1.7 kilometers from the power station’s front gate on April 21 “found minute amounts of three kinds of plutonium,” NHK reported. The Japanese researchers said the quantities of plutonium found in the soil are roughly similar to that which has been found at past nuclear bomb test sites.
Plutonium is highly toxic—whether ingested or inhaled—because it emits alpha radiation “that can easily penetrate membranes inside the body,” Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Arms Control Association, told The Envoy.”
– "Plutonium Found Near Fukushima Shows Nuclear Crisis Is Far From Over" via Yahoo News
DEATH WAVE In this photo taken on March 11 and released today by Tokyo Electric Power Co, tsunami waves rush towards tanks of heavy oil at Unit 5 of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex. (Photo: TEPCO via the Telegraph)