Mark Willacy [of Australian Broadcasting Corporation] travels to radiation-poisoned Fukushima as few residents return home after evacuation lift. He uncovers startling new evidence of the dangers that still lurk there, and the near insurmountable task of cleaning it up.
Five years after the nuclear meltdown, the Fukushima countryside remains full of radiation and virtually empty of people. As levels spike on the radiation meter at Fukishima a guide from the plant operator TEPCO warns Willacy: "they don’t want to go any further”. “In the beginning I felt lonely", says Naoto Matsumura, described as Japan’s most contaminated person. "But now I’m used to it”. The task of neutralising hundreds of tonnes of melted nuclear fuel turns out to be far greater than previously thought, and may never be fully remedied. Naoto Kan, Japan’s Prime Minister at the time of the crisis and an anti-nuclear convert, believes that "the accident took us to the brink of destruction".
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up