Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant surrounded by desolate no-man's-land year after disaster

Lives still disrupted


Nothing prepares you for entering Japan's 12-mile exclusion zone around the crippled nuclear power plant at Fukushima.

Everybody still has to wear radiation suits and face masks when entering, but within the area it is as if time has stood still.

In other areas along the coastline, a lot of the debris from the tsunamis that hit the shore a year ago, taking over 15,000 lives, has been removed and many homes have been rebuilt. But in the exclusion zone nearly everything has been left untouched.

Village after village we traveled through is silent. There are, of course, no people, but there also are no domestic animals, like cats or dogs or farm animals.

The only life you can see are birds.

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The destruction from the tsunami that passed through some of the villages is apparent.

The most obvious example is the hundreds of twisted wrecks of cars strewn across rice fields or smashed against buildings.

But some areas seem to have been relatively untouched by the wall of water.

Shops and gas stations stand empty and the rice fields around are untended.

We spoke to some of the people who come from this area around the plant, and they say they are able to sometimes enter the zone to collect belongings or check their properties.

But every time they enter they have to be screened for radiation when they leave.

The Japanese authorities offered Fox News the opportunity to spend time with their search teams in the exclusion zone.

They didn’t say at the time that the area we were visiting was only about a mile from the Fukushima nuclear plant.

Walking on the beach near the plant, the scene was quite surreal or even apocalyptic. Hundreds of people in full radiation suits and face masks were scouring the shore for the remains of the dead.

On Monday, it will have been a year since the disaster, but these people will not give up the search for the bodies of those still unaccounted for.

Around 4,000 people officially still are missing, 49 from just this area of the coast, and this was their first chance to search this area for the dead.

The local fire chief said they must carry on to find everybody and return them to their loved ones.

He had lost his whole family when the tsunami swept their family home away as he rushed to help others.