Longreads

William Vollmann | No Immediate Danger | Viking | April 2018 | 26 minutes (7,015 words)

The taxi driver said: “Nuclear power plants, I wish they would all be abandoned, because there was a safety miss. They promised nothing dangerous would happen, but then this accident clearly showed there was a miss…”

The new dosimeter read 4.7 microsieverts as we rolled out of central Iwaki, and the van’s interior radioactivity was a homelike 0.12 micros an hour — appropriate for Tokyo or San Francisco.

“The fact is, the government is trying to restart other nuclear power plants,” he said. “That move is unbelievable. With all these reactors turned off here, still electricity is not short at all. Renewable is better.”

It was a cloudy morning, promising rain to the west. The rice fields were stubbled green and brown, most of the crop having been harvested in mid-October. Occasionally a very…

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