Four years after the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant, strange things still are happening to the plants and animals living there.
Recent years have brought reports of deformed fruit and mutant butterflies, but the latest is a remarkable photo of deformed daisies posted on Twitter by @san_kaido, who took the photo below in Nasushiobara City, which lies about 70 miles from Fukushima.
Translated from Japanese, @san_kaiod’s tweet describes how the daisies growing there have apparently been impacted by exposure to radiation since the March 2011 incident, which resulted in the meltdown of three of Fukushima’s six reactors following a devastating tsunami:
“The right one grew up, split into 2 stems to have 2 flowers connected each other, having 4 stems of flower tied beltlike,” according to Fukushima Diary. “The left one has 4 stems grew up to be tied to each other and it had the ring-shaped flower. The atmospheric dose is 0.5 μSv/h at 1m above the ground.”
マーガレットの帯化(那須塩原市5/26)② 右は４つの花茎が帯状に繋がったまま成長し，途中で２つに別れて２つの花がつながって咲いた。左は４つの花茎がそのまま成長して繋がって花が咲き輪の様になった。空間線量0.5μSv地点(地上高1m) pic.twitter.com/MinxdFgXBC
— 三悔堂 (@san_kaido) May 27, 2015
The last sentence from the tweet — about the radiation dose now being “0.5 μSv/h at 1m above the ground” — describes the radiation dose per hour that’s now present at the site where the photo above was taken. It’s classified as safe for “medium to long term habitation” according to this explanation of radiation levels.
That no doubt played a part in the Japanese government’s recent decision to allow more than 7,000 residents of a town near the Fukushima plant to return home, four years after being evacuated. As the London Telegraph learned, however, it’s unclear how many residents actually will go back to live there permanently.
“There are no shops. There are no doctors. I don’t know what to do,” one former resident told local Japanese media.