Tuesday 26 September 2017

More than a year after tsunami, Fukushima beaches re-opened

Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s (TEPCO) tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant reactor building number 4 is seen in Fukushima prefecture, in this aerial view photo taken by Kyodo July 18, 2012. Photo: Reuters
Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s (TEPCO) tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant reactor building number 4 is seen in Fukushima prefecture, in this aerial view photo taken by Kyodo July 18, 2012. Photo: Reuters

After more than a year away, swimmers in Fukushima prefecture were allowed to return to the sea this week for the first time since disaster struck at the Japanese nuclear plant.

All of Fukushima's 17 beaches were closed last year to protect the public from radiation. A massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 wrecked the local nuclear plant, triggering meltdowns that contaminated food and water and forced mass evacuations.

Now, authorities have opened one of the beaches after declaring the water there to be safe.

"The water's still cold, but it's going to be a good season," Yukiei Hakozaki, a local guide, told Kyodo News. "We want lots of people to come." (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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