"This is an accident that does not exist in the past tense, but in the present progressive form," exclaimed Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori earlier in March, criticizing Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for not explicitly the disaster in his annual speech. “It’s not possible to avoid using the important and significant terms of the nuclear plant accident of nuclear power disaster.”
As IBTimes's Juliana Rose Pignataro notes (and exposes in the images below), it's been an uphill battle for the coastal prefecture of Fukushima, Japan, since an earthquake and tsunami devastated the region in 2011, causing a nuclear disaster at its power plant.
Six years later, workers are still battling to decommission the plant, where radiation is deadly. Officials expect the cleaning won’t be finished for decades.
In this handout provided by TEPCO, the deformed grating vessel of Fukushima's No. 2 reactor is shown Jan. 30, 2017.
Workers remove nuclear fuel rods from a pool inside the No. 4 reactor at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, Nov. 18, 2013
A TEPCO employee looks at the destroyed reactor in Fukushima, Japan, Feb. 25, 2016
Personal items were left behind in Fukushima, Japan, Feb. 26, 2016.
A wild boar roams in barren, Fukushima, Japan, Mar. 1, 2017
The damaged No. 3 reactor at Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan is shown Feb. 25, 2016.
A deserted home is shown in Fukushima, Japan, Mar. 11, 2016.
Workers stand near the deserted nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan, Feb. 25, 2016.
The barren landscape of Fukushima, Japan sits empty, Mar. 11, 2016.
Despite the ongoing decommissioning, increasingly high levels of radiation and wild boar problem, officials have begun welcoming some evacuated people back to their homes. It’s unclear how many residents will choose to return.