“Inside Japan’s Nuclear Meltdown,” a PBS Frontline documentary that aired on Feb. 28, shows powerful images of confusion and panic inside the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant right after the strong quake and tsunami that hit Japan a year ago.
After seeing the footage, Boing Boing science editor Maggie Koerth-Baker concluded a much bigger disaster may have been averted:
It feels weird to say this, given the effect the meltdowns have had on Japan’s energy situation and the lives of the people who lived and worked near the plant … but it seems as though Fukushima could have been a lot worse.
Dan Edge, the documentary’s producer, writer and director, spoke to Koerth-Baker yesterday, among other things, about the emotional shock that the meltdown threat has meant to the Japanese people:
I think it’s fair to say that many of the Japanese people I met whose lives have been upended by both the tsunami and the nuclear disaster would not even think of seeking help for mental health difficulties. There seems to be very much a culture of endurance—especially in the north east of Japan. I was repeatedly astonished by the bravery and stoicism of those who have been forced to leave their homes—but I do worry about the long term psychological costs.