Museum commemorating the Fukushima nuclear disaster opens in northeastern Japan
This photo, taken on September 20, 2020, shows the interior of the disaster museum built in memory of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and the subsequent nuclear crisis in Futaba, the city in northeastern Japan that hosted the disrupted Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. (Kyodo) This image, taken from a drone on September 8, 2020, shows a disaster museum built in memory of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and the subsequent nuclear crisis in Futaba, the city in northeastern Japan that hosted the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear program. Plant. (Kyodo) This photo, taken on September 20, 2020, shows the interior of the disaster museum that was built in memory of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and the subsequent nuclear crisis in Futaba, the northeastern city that hosted the disrupted Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. (Kyodo) This photo, taken on September 20, 2020, shows the interior of the disaster museum that was built in memory of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and the subsequent nuclear crisis in Futaba, the northeastern city that hosted the disrupted Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. (Kyodo)
Fukushima, Japan (Kyodo) – An archiving museum and exhibiting items related to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster opened Sunday in the northeastern Japanese town that hosts the ill-fated power plant, helping preserve memories and pass on lessons to future generations.
The Archives Center in Futaba City, Fukushima Prefecture, in an area designated as a no-go zone due to high levels of radiation as of March this year, rotates just under 200 of the nearly 240,000 elements related to the world’s worst nuclear disaster since then. The 1986 Chernobyl accident.
The governorate-run museum is planned to open this summer but is being delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. About 1050 people visited on opening day.
At the opening ceremony, museum director Noboru Takamura said, “It has been nine and a half years since the accident. We would like visitors to see how Fukushima has recovered from the unprecedented nuclear disaster.”
The museum consists of three floors of six sections, starting with a theater with large screens showing the lives of local residents before the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters that struck on March 11, 2011, then how the residents were evacuated and the efforts that followed to shut down the stricken reactors and rebuild the affected areas.
With a total area of 5,300 square meters, the other areas are arranged in chronological order detailing those developments with the exhibits, including memorials and resident accounts. 29 locals will spend time at the museum to provide initial accounts of that period.
Also on display is a whiteboard containing handwritten data on radioactive iodine levels transferred from the now no longer existing prefectural nuclear power center, located about 5 kilometers west of the Fukushima Daiichi Station, and the radiation data collected for three days after the nuclear disaster. .
Also on display are protective clothing and bags used to store waste from protracted decontamination efforts.
“I was taken to the time immediately following the accident and felt short of myself,” said visitor Kichio Ito, 78, who now lives in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, after fleeing Futaba.
However, the museum’s opening did not come without criticism, with some indicating that it did not sufficiently highlight the failures of the government and Tokyo Electric Power Holdings Inc. In preventing the accident, it rather focuses without criticism on the disaster and then, as they say.
To attract visitors from abroad, tablets are available and offer explanations in English, Chinese and Korean, according to the local government, which expects around 50,000 visitors a year. Tickets are 600 yen ($ 5.70) for adults and 300 yen for students.
In the Fukushima disaster, three reactors at the TEPCO-run plant suffered collapses and spew radioactive materials into the air, forcing residents to mass evacuate as floods from the tsunami disrupted the plant’s cooling systems.
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