Photographer Brian Driscoll is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this social documentary photography. From his project ‘Life Within 90km’. To see Brian’s projects click on any image.
The great Tohoku earthquake struck the northeastern coast of Fukushima, Japan on March 11, 2011. Nearly three years after, thousands of families, children, farmers, business owners, teachers and students across all of Fukushima have been feeling the impact. It has caused a catastrophic disaster and an ongoing nuclear nightmare for thousands of residents not only living within the 12-15 mile radius of the Daiichi nuclear power plant , “the Exclusion Zone,” but throughout Fukushima. There are about 160,000 people displaced from neighboring cities stretching nearly 90 kilometers away from the power plant, many of whom have been living in temporary housing for three years now, as cleanup crews continue to decontaminate radiation.
As restrictions have been lifted in some areas of Fukushima, just outside of the no-go zone, many older residents that are deeply connected to their land will return. However, younger families with children are not so eager to return home due to the lack of information provided by the government. Some of the hardest things for people to deal with is the fact that no one has taken responsibility three years later and not trusting what the government is saying, especially after hot spots of radiation have been reported several levels higher than normal in populated areas that was considered to be safe. People of Fukushima find it disturbing that the government and Tepco are down playing the situation and are encouraging residents to continue living in contaminated areas. Nearby cities are facing real potential dangers of nuclear energy, such as Koriyama, a city that has a population of roughly 330,000, and about an hours drive west of the Fukushima power plant. While these serious issues will continue to unfold, there are a handful of other repercussions, such as children’s health issues, deep depression, guilt, discrimination, marital discord, psychological difficulties, paranoia, suicide and learning to adapt in an unfamiliar environment.