Fukushima and the nuclear waste issues 12 years later
March 11, 2023 marks 12 years since a massive earthquake and tsunami triggered triple nuclear meltdowns in Japan, but the country is still sitting on over 1 million tonnes of treated nuclear waste water.
Over 20,000 people died or went missing, while the meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, 137 miles (220 km) northeast of Tokyo, forced hundreds of thousands of residents to flee their homes.
More than 1 million tonnes of treated contaminated water is soon set to be discharged into the ocean, but local fishermen say they are concerned, as well as environmentalists and neighboring China and South Korea.
Japan says the water is safe, although there are still traces of tritium which is difficult to remove. Before the disaster, Japan operated about 50 nuclear power plants, now that number is five.
The country now heavily relies on natural gas and coal for power, but plans are in place to turn the area around the Fukushima disaster into a renewable energy hub.