OCTOBER 1, 2012. The Great Tohoku Earthquake of 2011 - and the tsunami it triggered - caused three nuclear reactors to meltdown. At the same time, containers with hundreds of spent fuel rods were exposed to the open air, releasing lethal radiation, and forcing the permanent evacuation of five nearby towns.
But the accidents at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant destroyed more than just the reactors and the surrounding countryside. They destroyed the nation's confidence in the entire nuclear power industry.
In the months following the tragedy, the mothers of Japan did all that they could to protect their families. And in a country not known for public demonstrations, the effectiveness of these polite but persistent voices has been remarkable. On September 14th, the Japanese parliament sealed the fate of the nuclear industry and set the country on a path towards a nuclear-free society.
In a new book about the earthquake, tsunami, and meltdowns, Joseph Honton gives readers an inside look at a modern society coming to grips with its energy appetite.
On March 11, 2011, Honton was traveling in Japan, when the triple disaster brought the country to a complete standstill. He tells his story from the relative safety of the far side of Japan, five hundred kilometers west of the unfolding disasters, while tuning in to the personal conversations swirling around, and observing the situation for answers.
Honton began to learn the unfamiliar technical jargon of millisieverts and becquerels, seeking relief from the anxiety that had seized the nation. But just as millions of others discovered, the facts were grim, and the experts were no help.
Honton shares his story as a seasoned traveler, seeking adventure, and getting more than he bargained for. His intimate knowledge of the country and its culture makes for a compelling story. “There's a God for That” is available beginning October 1st.