Arnie Gundersen Visits the Refugees of Fukushima

After the explosions and melt-down of the Fukushima Nuclear power plant on March 11, 2011, 160,000 people were evacuated. Five years later almost 100,000 of them are still living in refugee housing because their homes, land and towns are still too radioactive for life. The current Abe government of Japan has begun a campaign to end the refugee crisis by a variety of measures: by changing the radiation standards and telling the exiled that it is now safe to go home, by ending disaster payments as well as cost of living allowances unless they return to the broken down ghost towns or relocate to other parts of Japan.

In several cases Arnie Gundersen was the first outsider who came to visit these refugee colonies scattered across Japan. Their personal stories hold a kind of truth and significance that no official statements can convey.

What Arnie Gundersen had to offer the refugees in return is 45 years of experience. He was a licensed reactor operator who taught reactor physics, and served as a senior vice president for the nuclear industry. He became a whistle blower in 1990 and lost his job and even his home.

This program presents part of his diary on his moving and heartbreaking meetings with refugees. Arnie Gundersen by phone from Japan recorded in March 2016 by the crew at

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