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The Fukushima cleanup: Four years after the tsunami Add to ...

In the four years since the tsunami and nuclear disaster at the Fukushima power plant, Japan has allocated over $15 billion to lower radiation levels around the plant. Every day, teams of workers blast roads with water, scrub down houses, cut branches and scrape contaminated soil off farmland. That radiated trash now sits in plastic sacks across the region, piling up in abandoned rice paddies, parking lots and even residents' backyards. Few believe Tokyo's assurances that the site will be cleaned up and shut down after 30 years.

Norio Kimura, 49, who lost his father, wife and daughter in the tsunami, walks in front of a house, damaged by the earthquake in Okuma town, next to the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. (Toru Hanai/Reuters)

Workers operate heavy machinery to remove debris at an area devastated by the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Namie town, Fukushima prefecture. (Toru Hanai/Reuters)

Big black plastic bags containing radiated soil, leaves and debris from the decontamination operation are dumped at a temporary storage site. 30 millions tons of soil and debris have been raked up since the disaster. (Toru Hanai/Reuters)

Decontamination workers wearing protective suits and masks, remove radiated soil and leaves from a forest in Tomioka town, Fukushima prefecture. (Toru Hanai/Reuters)

A monument and a stone statue of Jizo (R) for victims of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami, are seen near big black plastic bags containing radiated soil, leaves and debris. (Toru Hanai/Reuters)

People who were evacuated from Okuma, attend a town hall meeting at a temporary housing complex in Aizuwakamatsu, Fukushima prefecture. Few believe Tokyo's assurances that the site will be cleaned up and shut down after 30 years. (Toru Hanai/Reuters)

Norio Kimura, 49, who lost his father, wife and daughter in the March 11, 2011 tsunami, offers prayers for his family in front of a stone statue of Jizo and a monument he made for his family on the hill behind his home land inside the exclusion zone . (Toru Hanai/Reuters)

Dictionaries are still left on desks at a classroom of Kumamachi Elementary School inside the exclusion zone in Okuma town, near Tokyo Electric Power Co's (TEPCO) tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant . (Toru Hanai/Reuters)

A school jersey that belonged to Yuna Kimura, the youngest daughter of the Kimura family, who was swept away by the tsunami is displayed at a temple inside the exclusion zone. (Toru Hanai/Reuters)

A woman is seen at a temporary housing complex covered in snow that accommodates nuclear evacuees from Okuma, a town inside the exclusion zone. (Toru Hanai/Reuters)

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