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Reconstruction and revitalization in Fukushima a decade after the “triple disaster” struck: Striving for sustainability and a new future vision
While disasters occur relatively frequently almost none are of a scale as serious or complex as the triple disaster that devastated coastal regions of Tohoku, Japan. How can a region recover from a disaster as horrific as that triggered by the earthquake, tsunami and radioactive contamination linked to the explosions and reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant? Recovery and reconstruction in cases of large-scale disasters involves multiple activities which extend over long periods of time.
This article focuses on one aspect of this -- the efforts that are being made to bring about deeper transformative changes that aim to make the region in and around Fukushima both more sustainable and resilient. The region is betting on becoming a leader of global significance in several areas: tsunami disaster management and recovery, nuclear disaster recovery know-how (technological, scientific, and social), renewable energy development, and hydrogen fuels and battery storage technologies. This effort is made difficult, however, by many evacuees’ reluctance to return to the region and the complex challenges associated with dealing with the aftermath of the nuclear accident.