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Fukushima A Tourist Destination In 20 Years?

Chernobyl Amusement Park
The abandoned amusement park in the town of Pripyat, Chernobyl Dead Zone

25 years ago, after the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident, nobody would have predicted the zone of alienation would become a tourist attraction. Although it’s no Eifel Tower, and never will be, today Chernobyl and the abandoned town of Pripyat are one of the most popular attractions for visitors to the Ukraine. Fast forward another 25 years, will Fukushima be the next post-nuclear disaster tourist destination?

It’s been nearly 9 months since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan, and it’s mostly fallen out of the headlines. As things settle down, the reactors are capped and stabilized, and time goes on, the levels of radioactivity will drop. Eventually it will recede back down to levels which are safe for short term visits, and when this happens, people will be interested in exploring the area. At Chernobyl this took about 20 years, whether it will be the same for Fukushima or not, I can’t say, but during this time the area around Fukushima will likely fall into ruins as did the abandoned town of Pripyat in the Chernobyl Dead Zone. Fukushima is also different in that the reactor is located on the coast, opening up new potential for nuclear fallout to affect the sea life and vegetation around the power plant. On top of that, Japan has more of a tourist industry than Ukraine to begin with, so people would be more likely to visit just because of the proximity to the other Japanese tourist destinations.

It’s impossible to know what will come of the Fukushima area in the coming future, or what the Japanese government will or won’t allow as far as allowing visitors into the contaminated area. However, it’s interesting to consider the fact that the nuclear tourism occurring around Chernobyl may soon have competition on the other side of the world.

Fukushima II Nuclear Power Plant Map

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