Author: Christian

The Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster: A Look at the Forests, Rice Paddies and Farmland

The Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster: A Look at the Forests, Rice Paddies and Farmland

Wildlife is flourishing around Fukushima, a picture of recovery

The forests, rice paddies and farmland of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, are starting to show the effects of radioactive fallout from the 2011 nuclear accident.


This is FRESH AIR. I’m Terry Gross.

I’m in Fukushima, Japan right now. I’m in a village called Minamisoma, where my guests are two of the students who took care of Chernobyl’s orphaned children back in 1986. The Chernobyl accident was the worst nuclear disaster in history. It happened when Soviet Union scientists removed all but a little bit of the protective covers of the nuclear reactor, and then sent the reactor’s core to a cooling pool.

The radioactive plume drifted out over the landscape where the reactor was, and it got into the forests. The plume went right through Fukushima when winds whipped up in the months after the accident, but it got into the farmland about a 20-minute drive from the nuclear power plants. And that’s where we’re now. We’re in a small village called Minamisoma.

And I’m talking – you’re listening to TEHRAN AIR, NPR’s international affiliate in Japan.

Good evening.


COURTNEY: Your call to the office, please?


I’m Courtney at NPR. It’s night, and it’s snowing. So, the village is dark, and this is one of the homes. It’s one of the homes that used to be part of the Chernobyl power plant. Many of the people who work at the plant say they’re used to the radioactive fallout. This is a farmer here – maybe in that moment, he’s thinking, I’m going to clean those floors and put the dirt under some light covers.


CRISTINA: This is the first batch of hay we got in the winter.


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