Touring ghost towns left behind by Japan's nuclear disaster
More than 100,000 people living within 12 miles of the Fukushima plant were ordered out -- a journalist touring an abandoned town in the area describes what he found.
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It has been six months since Japanese emergency workers began a desperate struggle to control the nuclear power station at Fukushima. Three of the reactors were over-heating following the tsunami, and a vast cloud of radioactivity escaped and more than 100,000 people living within 12 miles of the plant were ordered out.
Today, the reactors are still not fully stabilized, but radiation levels in one area of the exclusion zone have dropped — the BBC's science correspondent, David Shukman is one of the few journalists to make the journey inside.
Inside the exclusion zone, Shukman found "an abandoned town; 16,000 people used live here. Weeds are growing up… all around there are animals, which used to be looked after just roaming wild." He found heartbreaking scenes, including a farmhouse where "the owners fled so quickly during the leak that happened six months ago that they didn't release their cattle. The result is horrible."
A local farmer slipped Shukman into the zone, because he "wants the outside world to hear how his hometown has suffered."
"He's determined to stay here, but I have to say it is a fairly depressing site," Shukman added.
The farmer told Shukman: "We want this place to be safe again. We want gas, electricity and water. But all the people still want to come back. Their wish is to die here. Now it's just me taking care of the animals."
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