Quantcast

'Shadowlands' Photographs Highlight Human Cost of Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

Energy

Greenpeace International

Greenpeace launched 'Shadowlands' on Feb. 20, a presentation of haunting photographs depicting the impacts of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the plight of people displaced by the crisis, and a warning to others that a serious nuclear accident can happen everywhere there are reactors.

Shadowlands features the work of award-winning photographer Robert Knoth and documentary maker Antoinette de Jong and can be viewed by clicking here. Using social media links and its website, Greenpeace will also collect messages of support for the Japanese people.

"The Fukushima nuclear disaster is having a dramatic impact on the environment and the lives of the people from a wide area around the nuclear plant," said Knoth. "We sought to document this through landscape and portrait photography, as well as interviews with people from the affected region—some of whom may never be able to return to their homes. What we found was a profound sense of loss."

Since the beginning of the crisis on March 11, 2011, Greenpeace radiation specialists have documented the on-going impacts of radiation contamination on the environment, food and seafood to demonstrate that Japanese authorities have consistently underplayed, underestimated and underreported the radiation impacts around Fukushima.

"The underestimation of the disaster by the authorities has exacerbated the suffering of the people of Fukushima," said Junichi Sato, Greenpeace Japan executive director. "Now, the government is rushing to restart reactors against public opinion, and without learning any lessons from Fukushima. We hope our exhibition will give it pause to reflect upon the ramifications of its decisions."

"The Fukushima nuclear disaster happened because the Japanese authorities failed to protect people, instead choosing to protect the nuclear industry. For this reason, people in Japan continue to be exposed to radiation hazards, even a year later. They have not been compensated for all they have lost, and they have not received the support they need to rebuild their lives," said Jan Beránek, head of Greenpeace International's energy campaign. "This reminds us that millions of people living near reactors anywhere in the world are at risk of suffering the same consequences of a major nuclear disaster."

The Shadowlands photos show beautiful landscapes—but something is clearly missing—people. More than 150,000 people had to flee the Fukushima area because of radioactive contamination.

"Nature is already taking over. In the early morning, monkeys look for food on the outskirts of villages, wild boars roam the fields, cranes majestically soar over breath taking scenery, and there is silence," said Knoth.

Greenpeace Japan also launched the first of a series of exhibitions of Knoth’s photographs. The Fukushima collaboration by Knoth and De Jong continues their earlier work with Greenpeace on the on-going effects of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster on the Ukrainian people.

Greenpeace is calling on the Japanese government to not restart any nuclear plants and for a global phase out of inherently dangerous nuclear reactors.

For more information, click here.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Large food companies are following in the footsteps of fast-food restaurants such as Burger King and KFC by offering meat alternatives. Getty Images

By Elizabeth Pratt

  • Hormel, Kellogg's, and Kroger are among the large companies now planning to offer "fake meat" products at grocery stores.
  • Experts say the trend toward plant-based meats coincides with consumers' desires to eat less meat.
  • However, experts urge consumers to closely check package labels as a product isn't necessarily healthy just because it's described as plant-based.

In grocery stores and fast-food outlets around the U.S., a revolution is taking place.

Read More Show Less
Colombia rainforest. Marcel Oosterwijk / CC BY-SA 2.0

By Torsten Krause

Many of us think of the Amazon as an untouched wilderness, but people have been thriving in these diverse environments for millennia. Due to this long history, the knowledge that Indigenous and forest communities pass between generations about plants, animals and forest ecology is incredibly rich and detailed and easily dwarfs that of any expert.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
picture-alliance / Newscom / R. Ben Ari

By Wesley Rahn

Plastic byproducts were found in 97 percent of blood and urine samples from 2,500 children tested between 2014 and 2017, according to a study by the German Environment Ministry and the Robert Koch Institute.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

Medically reviewed by Daniel Bubnis, MS, NASM-CPT, NASE Level II-CSS

Written by James Roland

Hot yoga has become a popular exercise in recent years. It offers many of the same benefits as traditional yoga, such as stress reduction, improved strength, and flexibility.

Read More Show Less
Lara Hata / iStock / Getty Images

By SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD

Rice is a staple in many people's diets. It's filling, inexpensive, and a great mild-tasting addition to flavorful dishes.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Hinterhaus Productions / DigitalVision / Getty Images

By Lindsay Campbell

From pastries to plant-based—we've got you covered.

Read More Show Less
An image of the trans-alaskan oil pipeline that carries oil from the northern part of Alaska all the way to valdez. This shot is right near the arctic national wildlife refuge. kyletperry / iStock / Getty Images Plus

The Trump administration has initialized the final steps to open up nearly 1.6 million acres of the protected Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge to allow oil and gas drilling.

Read More Show Less
Westend61 / Getty Images

By Elizabeth Streit, MS, RDN, LD

Vegetarianism has become increasingly popular in recent years.

Read More Show Less