Fukushima: Inside the Exclusion Zone

In June, National Geographic sent AP photographer David Guttenfelder into the exclusion zone around the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station, which was badly damaged in the earthquake and tsunami earlier this year. He captured images of communities that had become ghost towns, with pets and farm animals roaming the streets. Later, in November, Guttenfelder returned to photograph the crippled reactor facility itself as members of the media were allowed inside for the first time since the triple disaster last March. In some places, the reactor buildings appear to be little more than heaps of twisted metal and crumbling concrete. Tens of thousands of area residents remain displaced, with little indication of when, or if, they may ever return to their homes. Collected here are some images from these trips -- the first six are from the December 2011 issue of National Geographic magazine, now on newsstands, and more photos can be seen at the National Geographic website.
Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Jacquelyn Martin / AP

    Photos of the Week: 11/11–11/17

    The Ministry of Fun Santa School opens for the season in England, a red fox meets a stegosaurus in Siberia, Australians vote to allow same-sex marriage, and much more.

  • R S Iyer / AP

    Delhi's Toxic Sky

    Toward the end of autumn, parts of northern India and Pakistan are frequently covered by a thick smog caused by a temperature inversion. This year is particularly bad.

  • Ross Burgener / NOAA, OAR, ESRL, GMD

    A Photo Trip to Antarctica

    Images from the past few years of the Antarctic landscape, wildlife, research facilities, and some of the scientific work taking place there.

  • Yasuo Osakabe / U.S. Air Force, 374th Airlift Wing

    Photos of President Trump's Trip to Asia

    For the past 12 days, President Trump has been on a wide-ranging tour across Asia.

Join the Discussion