Videos Shed Light on Chaos at Fukushima as a Nuclear Crisis Unfolded
Shortly after an explosion rocked the stricken nuclear plant at Fukushima last year, blanketing the plant and nearby towns in radioactive material, Masao Yoshida, the plantís chief manager, rallied his men.
ďI fear we are in acute danger,Ē he said. ďBut letís calm down a little. Letís all take a deep breath. Inhale, exhale.Ē
That moment, as some of Japanís worst fears were coming true, was captured in 150 hours of videos released by the plantís operator this week under public and news media pressure. The videos, spanning the accidentís early days, offer the first minute-by-minute account of the last-ditch effort to avert what would become the worst nuclear calamity since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.
Though incomplete, the footage from a concrete bunker at the plant confirms what many had long suspected: that the Tokyo Electric Power Company, the plantís operator, knew from the early hours of the crisis that multiple meltdowns were likely despite its repeated attempts in the weeks that followed to deny such a probability.