Tokyo 2020 Roundup: HBO Report Raises Fukushima Health Concerns via ATR


The Real Sports program on HBO sent correspondent David Scott to Fukushima in December. He reports that thousands of nuclear refugees have returned to the disaster zone after being assured by the Japanese government that radiation levels are safe.

Kazunori Tanaka, the minister in charge of rebuilding Fukushima for the Japanese government, tells Scott “The numbers indicate that there’s no problem and that there’s no need for people to be worried.”

But nuclear researcher Shaun Burnie, who has been measuring levels of radiation in the area for the past nine years, says that’s not true.

“To say that this is a situation under control is a complete lie,” Burnie tells Scott in the report.

Japan is calling this summer’s Olympics the Reconstruction Games and wants to show that the country has fully recovered from the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 that caused a nuclear meltdown.

Burnie says the plan to start the Japan portion of the Olympic Torch Relay in Fukushima in late March “is not really a good idea”.

“Those radioactive materials will be posing a threat to the environment, to the public for generations to come.”

The report also reveals that the Fukushima nuclear power plant is still releasing radiation and includes a visit to a still abandoned town in the region.

This edition of Real Sports on HBO debuted on January 28. It can be seen on demand at HBO GO and HBO Now.

Click here to watch a short video clip from the report.

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