The Fukushima plant has been fraught with various failings since the worst nuclear disaster in history: high levels of radiation, unconfirmed reports of contaminating soil, and the loss of nearly 60,000 people. What once looked a disaster zone now looks like a real, live park.
The entire area is now being established as a nature reserve, although it will remain impossible to get close to the radioactive crud spread by the 2011 plant meltdown. Still, this is a very big step in the right direction, and even for those (like the recently appointed governor of Fukushima prefecture) who grew up in the area and can recall the dreadful ordeal that followed, the news is still a bit surreal.
As for just how far we’ve come as a species? Last July, 5,358 species of mammals, birds, amphibians, insects, and plants had been assessed in the area. Now that number has grown to 14,279, thanks to the continuation of a compensation program that allowed the population count. This extraordinary number masks the fact that almost none of the species who were marked were previously affected by Fukushima’s accident.
Read the full story at The Guardian.
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