Between 12th and 20th of March 2011, after the successive explosions in at least 3 of the 4 reactors at the power plant of Fukushima Daiichi on the 11th of March, the East and center of Fukushima prefecture was contaminated by iode 131 and cesium 137. Radioactive pollution has been observed further than 250km outside Fukushima Daiichi, reaching Northern and Eastern parts of Tokyo. Traces are still present today. The 20km evacuation zone remains arguably small, providing evidence of the authority’s apprehension to expand it to a wider territory, which they will be forced to condemn for decades. The invisible and odorless character of radioactivity, as well as the impossibility of knowing its effects for several years, and even then without any certitude, has prompted a wait and see policy of the State, the Prefectural governments and the Tokyo Electric Power Company.

Evacuees have to face the loss of towns, villages, friends and employment. Of the 150,000 that were forced to evacuate their houses, 90,000 still live in other parts of Fukushima Prefecture, while the rest have settled in other parts of Japan. In early 2013, less than two years after the disaster, Japanese authorities screened 133,000 children in Fukushima and found abnormal thyroid cysts and nodules in 42% of those tested. Three cases of cancer were also confirmed. High levels of radioactivity have been found more than 100km away from the power plant in cities such as Fukushima, Koriyama, Nihonmatsu and Iwaki. Distance is not a valid argument and no one can tell or estimate the consequences of a man-made nuclear disaster, for the population, area, soils, water and sea.
How do people live in this new environment, under constant threat of elevated radiation levels? In a world in which the people are cut off under shield, rather than inhabiting, when the simple freedom of living and existing in the present has been taken away.
Not to forget, the importance of every individual story and every singularity, of a person and her memories, of tastes and places.

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