The view from inside Japan's nuclear disaster exclusion zone

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Nearly a year and five months after the combined effects of an earthquake followed by a maximum-level tsunami led to nuclear meltdown and radioactive leaks at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi atomic power plant, the 20-kilometre exclusion zone (photo) established around the plant remains a desolate place. Beginning in April 2011, photo-reporter Antonio Pagnotta made several clandestine visits to the zone over a period of 11 months, producing a series of insightful and eery reportages which Mediapart is publishing in a thematic series. Here he tells Sophie Dufau and Michel de Pracontal about his chilling experiences and what he sees as Japan's state of denial about the dark consequences of the disaster. 

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On March 11th 2011, a devastating earthquake followed by a maximum-level tsunami led to nuclear meltdown and radioactive leaks at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi atomic power plant. Nearly a year and five months after what became the world’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl, things are still bleak inside the 20-kilometre exclusion zone established around the plant.