Do you remember Fukushima?

Time flies — on Sunday this week, a year will have passed already. The earthquake and tsunami, and the reactor failure that followed, all happened on 11 March 2011.

Has it really been a year already? My heart goes out to my friends in Japan, and to all the affected people. Time does not fly for these people, who live every day with the immediate problems and the fear of the unknown long-term effects troubling them.

Here in Austria, the press barely covered the story except for a few exaggerated and sensationalistic headlines, nauseatingly crafted to sell more advertisement. Everybody I know got their info from the daily media or from the colorful morning trash papers. Neither source has any understanding of nuclear technology, and it seemed they were driven purely by their despicable marketing managers.

I got my news from a more competent source: the MIT NSE blog, from the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They established a blog with the stated purpose to “provide non-sensationalized, factual data from engineers in a manner that the general public can understand” and they also give more details in layman’s terms. That blog helped me get a much clearer understanding of what was actually going on. And with this understanding, the headlines of the regular press printed seemed even more appalling, far beyond the point of irresponsible “journalism”.

I am absolutely not belittling the effect on Japan and on the population. I am very aware that the situation is bad, and that the responsible company wasn’t entirely faultless, but this could have happened anywhere, and I don’t think that other companies in other countries are any better.

Tokyo Times is still reporting on this, long after the international media has lost interest in it:

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