Fukushima Exclusion Zone for National Geographic

Date Published
1st March 2019

Last year I had the exciting chance to fly within the Fukushima exclusion zone, providing aerials for National Geographic’s Explorer production.

We spent several days in towns affected by the 2011 tsunami and reactor meltdown. The exclusion zone is slowly shrinking, and the government is trying to attract residents back to towns which have been removed from it and declared safe. Many former residents, however, have already begun new lives elsewhere, passed on, or are otherwise unwilling to resettle.

We were provided full Tyvek suits and personal dosimeters for the time we spent within the exclusion zone, although in talking to the local population just outside the exclusion zone it would appear this was largely for our own peace of mind and entirely unnecessary.

We obtained legal permission to enter the strictly regulated exclusion zone, and spent about three hours shooting within it. After that amount of time, my dosimeter measured approximately the same amount of ambient radiation as one would receive from taking a long haul international flight. Certainly higher than normal levels, but nothing to be concerned about.

Check out Explorer’s video below, with aerials by me.


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