The Fukushima Wasteland: "Terrifying" Drone Footage Of Japan's Abandoned Nuclear Exclusion Zone

Tyler Durden's picture

While the world has had decades of opportunities to observe nature slowly reclaiming the consequences of human civilization, particularly at the site of the original nuclear disaster, Chernobyl, there has been far less media coverage for obvious reasons, of that other nuclear disaster, Fukushima, where as we reported last night, one year after giving up on its "ice wall" idea Tepco has renewed the strategy of encasing the radioactive sarcophagus in an ice wall.

It was not precisely clear why this time the idea is expected to work after it was nixed last summer.

What is clear is that something has to be done, because as renewed interest in the aftermath of the results of the 2011 disaster once again builds ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the public is realizing just how vast the Japanese wasteland truly is.

And capturing just that, is this eerie drone overflight of the Fukushima graveyard shown in the clip below:


For those curious for more, here, courtesy of photographer Arkadiusz Podniesinski who donned protective gear to visit the "terrifying" - in his words - ghost towns of Futaba, Namie and Tomioka last month, we get an up close an personal photo essay of this generation's Chernobyl.

This is what he found: supermarket aisles strewn with packets. A school blackboard covered with notes for an unfinished lesson. Cars tangled with weeds in an unending traffic jam.

These are eerie pictures from inside the 20km exclusion zone around Fukushima nuclear plant, courtesy of Guardian.


The photographer, Arkadiusz Podniesinski, stands on one of the main streets of Futaba. The writing above him says: “Nuclear energy is the energy of a bright future.”


A street that has been taken over by nature. Four years after the catastrophe – which drove 160,000 people from their homes – much of the region is still too dangerous to enter.


The KFC Colonel and mannequins left standing in a supermarket.  “Here time has stood still, as if the accident happened yesterday,” says Podniesinski of the most-contaminated areas.


An aerial photograph of abandoned vehicles.


An aerial photograph of dump sites, taken by a drone. Contaminated radioactive topsoil from the fields has been bagged for removal and there have been efforts to clean deeper layers. To save space, the soil is stacked in layers.


A restaurant table with crockery left behind by guests. The huge task of decontaminating the area, site of the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986, continues. Thousands of workers move from street to street through villages, spraying and scrubbing the walls and roofs of houses.


Car bumpers overgrown with weeds. Some of the people Podniesinski spoke to doubt the official line that the area will be safe again in 30 years. “They are worried that the radioactive waste will be there for ever,” he says.


A classroom on the first floor in a school. There is still a mark below the blackboard showing the level of the tsunami wave. On the blackboard are words written by former residents, schoolchildren and workers in an attempt to keep up the morale of all of the victims, including “We can do it, Fukushima!”

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Nolde Huruska's picture

Looks like an opportunity for a new sequel in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series. Shadow of Fukushima anyone?

Zero-Hegemon's picture

Toxic Avenger, Japan needs you

MadVladtheconquerer's picture
MadVladtheconquerer (not verified) Oct 13, 2015 2:23 PM

Cheap beachfront property.  Great onsens on the western side of the island (Honshu).

I am going to onsens in Yonago and Nagano in Dec.  Lessee.  Sushi, onsens, subservient females, Pocari Sweat

and a weak yen.  What more can you possibly ask for? 

venturen's picture

we need picture of the thousands of acres of solar panel and wind turbine wastelands....much destroy nature with square miles of solar panels

BrainShutdown's picture

How about using the desert? Maybe we can find some sun there... or maybe we can put some wind turbines in some windy place... hmmm... like in the sea... wow I'm into something here...

cheech_wizard's picture

Take that to it's logical conclusion... All cities should be built on deserts or inhospitable land so that arable land is not paved over. Why build skyscrapers or anything above ground when the truth is if we built down into the ground, we would immediately reduce heating and cooling costs, thus using less fossil fuels, thus saving the WORLD!

Reductio ad absurdum is a fun game, isn't it?

BrainShutdown's picture

Yes I'm laughing already.

I see that you know something about sustainability... but just to be clear, the WORLD doesn't need to be saved but maybe a certain species will run into trouble in a not so distant future and should try to do something about it.

Flounder's picture



"In the years since, fish have been caught in the waters nearby with as much as 2,500 times the legal safe radiation limit."

1033eruth's picture

No kidding?  Well I guess it doesn't need any wasabi then.

Skiprrrdog's picture

Yeah, but on the upside, isnt a fish with two heads twice as smart? Or at least as smart as Hitlery Cunton?

The Magus's picture

How is this terrifying? It looks peaceful, bucolic and sustainable.


1033eruth's picture

They have to use the word "terrifying" because its piques interest.  If you said it was peaceful and bucolic, no one would read or look at the article.  

Nowadays, the overused word, "creepy" is used to describe anything that is deserted.  But in this case, that wasn't good enough, it had to be terrifying.   

Skiprrrdog's picture

Right, and they dont even need the nuclear now, because they all glow in the dark, or should I say 'grow' in the dark...

Goldbugger's picture

Radiation Commeth and Radiation Stayeth. Now matter how much lying takes place.

didthatreallyhappen's picture

they should film Walking Dead in that town

cheech_wizard's picture

or Denver...

Denver has particularly high natural radioactivity. It comes primarily from radioactive radon gas, emitted from tiny concentrations of uranium found in local granite. If you live there, you get, on average, an extra dose of .3 rem of radiation per year (on top of the .62 rem that the average American absorbs annually from various sources). A rem is the unit of measure used to gauge radiation damage to human tissue.

The International Commission on Radiological Protection recommends evacuation of a locality whenever the excess radiation dose exceeds .1 rem per year. But that's one-third of what I call the "Denver dose." Applied strictly, the ICRP standard would seem to require the immediate evacuation of Denver.

Now consider the most famous victim of the March 2011 tsunami in Japan: the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Two workers at the reactor were killed by the tsunami, which is believed to have been 50 feet high at the site.

But over the following weeks and months, the fear grew that the ultimate victims of this damaged nuke would number in the thousands or tens of thousands. The "hot spots" in Japan that frightened many people showed radiation at the level of .1 rem, a number quite small compared with the average excess dose that people happily live with in Denver.


Apply Force's picture

Isotope type matters - context.  Radon can have a hormetic effect at a moderate dose - not so for larger doses.  Some isotope exposure/contamination is dose-dependent, but not all.

Nuclear explosions produce random isotope concentrations and dispersal patterns of various isotopes are largely dependent on current weather patterns.

Largest danger is not to current DNA sets (though there is some danger there over time), but to future DNA sets (offspring).

Risk/reward of any large-scale nuclear power is too high for hairless apes.

GRDguy's picture

“When the last living thing

Has died on account of us,

How poetical it would be 

If Earth could say,

In a voice floating up

Perhaps from the floor

Of the Grand Canyon,

"It is done." 

People did not like it here.”

-- Kurt Vonnegut

Solio's picture

Humans would be lucky if we got a half-life, at the rate this is going.

Lostinfortwalton's picture

"Unlike oil and coal, nuclear fuel is recyclable..."

Carbon is not recyclable? Cudda fooled me. Seems like we all studied the 'carbon cycle' in the 5th grade? There is not any less carbon on earth than there ever was. Nuclear is he ONLY form of energy not dependant on the sun.

Teh Finn's picture
Teh Finn (not verified) Oct 13, 2015 3:30 PM

One star.  "Terrifying!!!!!"



o r c k's picture

Radiation may soon be a very common word in even casual speech if this administration succeeds in its constant bullying of nuclear armed Nations.

FlacoGee's picture

Chernobyl has the better "look"...    Maybe Fuckyoushima will look more eerie in 20 years.

In the end, Soviet construction in the middle of assfuck Ukraine will have a better "look" than ocean front property in Japan.



IronForge's picture

Enough Doom Pr0n, Tylers.

Note the orderly sorting of those yet-to-be-processed topsoil bags.  The region is being reopned to resettlement; and people are starting to come back to the surrounding Cities.  A good deal of reconstruction is needed; but the "feasible" cleanup is being done.

Much R&D is being worked on monitoring/entering the Reactors, so I'd expect the Reactors to be either filled with Concrete, or Core Materials dug up to be processed somehow within the Decade.

Fortunately, the Reactors were located along a Sea Wall; and the groundwaters flow directly to the Sea.  The combination of Groundwater/Seawater shoud provide a light buffer. 

I personally find the lack of Heavy Duty Protective Gear rather disappointnig.

Not Too Important's picture

The typhoons washed all those bags out to sea.

People are being forced back because the govt. is cutting off their evacuation checks. Only the old people are going back, to die at home.


neuronius's picture

Gee, thanks for the fucking update.

I'm glad that everything is well in hand.

I'm sure we can all sleep soundly and go back to eating Pacific salmon.

Dude, two wrongs don't make a right.  Just because you're trying to do the opposite of doom porn, you're essentially spouting bullshit for no reason.

STFU please.

IronForge's picture

No bullshit, Asshole.  You STFU.

The Titles make it sound as if it's all going to end for Life in Japan.  Gathers Eyeballs; but the situation doesn't call for those Doomers.

Obviously from my earlier post.  I know more, done more, and am better at this subject matter than you, Boy.

Go back to that Game Console, or that skateboard you left out in the yard.

nnnnnn's picture
nnnnnn (not verified) Oct 13, 2015 4:56 PM

lesson learned?    nope       

silverer's picture

The drama increased by the tsunami damage, which nobody was about to stick around to touch.  Left as is.  It is eerie.  As far as how long it will take before the area being safe:  The real number is more like 125 years.  Maybe they'll be more careful next time?  Yeah, sure.

NoWayJose's picture

Agree. The tsunami damage is still impressive - but it makes Chernobyl look that much more eerie without such destruction!

NikoBellick's picture

Is anyone else wondering what the heck they are going to do with all that top soil they are collecting???

NoWayJose's picture

It will be sold to Monsanto to grow 15 pound tomatoes and 4 foot long cucumbers and other GMOs!

NubianSundance's picture

800 scientists working on nuclear fusion for decades dont seem to be getting very far. Needs a kick.

NoWayJose's picture

Chernobyl is scary, Fukushima is a tragedy -- but in America we don't tell what really happened at Three Mile Island and other nuke sites.

cheech_wizard's picture

Try reading a book sometime. It's called research. This shit is extremely well documented if you know how to find it. Try university libraries. And a lot of documents are already on-line. I posed some questions earlier to the downvoters...


"chernobyl transient data"


"TMI core thermocouple reading displayed as question marks"

Read FINDING 11 - Core Temperature

Bonus question, above what temperature did the computer start printing those question marks?

Ratchet Pawl:

Lat resort cooling aboard a nuclear reactor: Seawater.


Jim in MN's picture

Try this for your own betterment:

We got this one.  The ZH community is one of the most informed on the planet on this issue.  Tail risk is the whole point of the fucking site. 

And by the way you seem like a prick from the get-go.  Typical actually considering your views.  Well, read up and wise up. 

Bonus read:  TMI final report detailing the core damage and disposition of partial meltdown debris:

They conclude that due to the massive damage to the core, the pressure vessel SHOULD HAVE RUPTURED when plant staff repressurized it.  The fact that it didn't is due to some kind of lucky circumstance, a still-unexplained spot cooling that kept the 1000+ degree area from causing more damage.

Blind luck is the only reason TMI didn't blow all over PA.  According to the actual evidence and actual science.....

So we have loss of coolant accidents (LOCAs) and core meltdowns in Europe, USA and Japan.  And no, the French don't have a fucking clue where to put their waste.  That's why they reprocess it to the frying point, there is NO plan for the end of the French fuel cycle. 

Certainly the Chinese can build a few hundred with no glitches...........................

yellowsub's picture

Only if America's ghetto can look half as abandoned as that...  

ShakaZulu's picture

Imagine what that fried chicken smells like after cooking this long.

Falconsixone's picture

New thing: Tree's blooming in October in Japan. That's good right or is this old knewz?

rsnoble's picture

Who's the dumbass that took the pics inside the mall? LOL.

pashley1411's picture

digging the "Fallout" ambience.   Just needs a few decades, and the occasional zombie axe killer.

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

The power of Zionism and the "obedient tools" they control!

djsmps's picture

I took the video and added the Benny Hiil music as a soundtrack. It's not too bad then. Kinda funny actually.

Dr. Bonzo's picture

Honestly... Detroit looks worse.

Ms No's picture

From the looks of things when things when things were at their worst Seattle, BC and Alaska probably got hammered.  Arnie Gunderson said that they estimated that the average Seattle resident inhaled 10 hot particles a day based on monitoring air samples and various filter samples and how much air a person processes a day.  We are still waiting for the rest of it and the stored rods to go.  He says when that when plumes are suspected change your AC filters frequently, keep the windows closed and wet mop constantly.  Also don't be deficient in iodine or other basic minerals.

Good times..


onmail1's picture

Fate of the western world + mideast