Tourists are beginning to get out of their cars to take pictures at this now infamous destination in Japan known as Fukushima.
The Fukushima nuclear power plant gained notoriety when it experienced a catastrophic nuclear accident after Japan’s huge earthquake. It is now reopened but in a “no go” area.
According to a police official, tourists were not aware they were entering a “no go” zone, so the government has stepped in with better English signs.
Previous signs warned against entering “difficult to return zones,” which many tourists did not understand. The message was supposed to be that they would be entering an area that has high levels of radiation.
The signs now say: “high-dose radiation area.”
And if that still is not clear enough, central government’s local nuclear emergency response headquarters set up 26 signs at 12 locations along the 70-kilometer National Road No. 114 in Fukushima Prefecture and elsewhere starting in mid-April. The signs carry straightforward messages in English, such as “No Entry!”
The Fukushima nuclear power plant reopened in September of last year after being closed since March 2011 due to damage from the nuclear disaster that occurred after the huge earthquake and resulting tsunami.
Twenty-seven kilometers of the National Road No. 114 reopened mostly for construction vehicles, however, other motorists can use the road as well. The government cautions passengers to stay in their vehicles while driving on this stretch of the road.
After the earthquake, active reactors at the power plant shut down but the subsequent tsunami disabled the emergency generators that were needed to power the pumps that cool the reactors. This results in 3 nuclear meltdowns and the release of radioactive material into the air. The Fukushima meltdown was the most significant nuclear incident since the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the Ukraine that happened on April 26, 1986.