What Remains

Life after an earthquake, a tsunami and a nuclear meltdown

01 October 2016
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About ten kilometres from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, a cluster of houses stand deserted in radiation-contaminated farmland.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY BRIAN DRISCOLL
About ten kilometres from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, a cluster of houses stand deserted in radiation-contaminated farmland.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY BRIAN DRISCOLL

ON 11 MARCH 2011, the Japanese city of Fukushima suffered three consecutive disasters. On 11 March, the city was hit by an earthquake, which triggered a tsunami. The waves knocked out the cooling systems of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, causing fuel rods to melt down and release deadly radiation. In the coming weeks, a total of 470,000 people were evacuated, and an “exclusion zone” was created, with a radius of 20 kilometres from the plant. Five years on, the effects of these tragedies are still being felt in the surrounding region.

When the American photographer Brian Driscoll first visited Fukushima, in 2012, it was not to take pictures, but to visit a friend. But on witnessing the impact of the 2011 tragedy, he decided to return to document the lives of those affected by it. Driscoll spent six weeks in 2014 working on the project—which he titled Life Within 90km, as all his photos were taken no farther than 90 kilometres from the plant.

Brian Driscoll Brian Driscoll is a documentary photographer based in New York City.

Keywords: Japan Fukushima earthquake Health tragedy nuclear disaster meltdown radiation
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