HUFFINGTON POST

These Photos Show What's Left Behind After A Nuclear Disaster

Inside the radioactive Fukushima Exclusion Zone.

Over 160,000 people were evacuated from their homes in 2011 when a tsunami triggered a triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors. What's left behind is a 20km radius radioactive exclusion zone where very few residents dare to return.

Photographer Arkadiusz Podniesinski ventured into the zone in September and captured eerie scenes of life frozen in time: abandoned cars and bikes, and empty supermarkets with food still on the shelves.

"When I entered the exclusion zone, the first thing I noticed was the huge scale of decontamination work," Podniesinski said, in a story accompanying the photos provided by photo agency Rex Shutterstock. Thousands of workers are trying to scrub the zone of radioactive material, so that more residents may feel safe enough to return in the future. 

Podniesinki wasn't able to get access to worst-affected areas in the exclusion zone, but the towns he did reach were chilling. "Futaba, Namie and Tomioka are ghost towns whose emptiness is terrifying and show a tragedy that affected hundreds of thousands of people," he said. 

See Podniesinki's photos inside the exclusion zone below:

An aerial photo of cars that were abandoned.
An aerial photo of cars that were abandoned.
Inside a supermarket. 
Inside a supermarket. 
An aisle of a supermarket with products left on the floor. Since the disaster nature has been at work and cobwebs now hang be
An aisle of a supermarket with products left on the floor. Since the disaster nature has been at work and cobwebs now hang between the shelves.
A school gymnasium. 
A school gymnasium. 
Go karts lined up and ready to race.
Go karts lined up and ready to race.
A gaming saloon once bustling with people is now empty.
A gaming saloon once bustling with people is now empty.
Computer screens left unattended.
Computer screens left unattended.
One of the classrooms on the first floor in a school. There is still a mark below the blackboard showing the level of the tsu
One of the classrooms on the first floor in a school. There is still a mark below the blackboard showing the level of the tsunami wave. On the blackboard in the classroom are words written by former residents, schoolchildren and workers in an attempt to keep up the morale of all of the victims, including "We can do it, Fukushima!"
Abandoned bikes left behind.
Abandoned bikes left behind.
A restaurant table with crockery left behind by guests.
A restaurant table with crockery left behind by guests.
A motorbike left next to a lamppost in 2011. Since the disaster weeds have grown over much of the bike's wheel.
A motorbike left next to a lamppost in 2011. Since the disaster weeds have grown over much of the bike's wheel.
There are currently approximately 360 cattle owned by Masami Yoshizawa who returned to his farm after the disaster. The crack
There are currently approximately 360 cattle owned by Masami Yoshizawa who returned to his farm after the disaster. The cracks in the earth were caused by the earthquake.
A stack of radiation contaminated televisions.
A stack of radiation contaminated televisions.
An aerial photograph taken by a drone of dump sites with sacks of contaminated radioactive soil. To save space they are stack
An aerial photograph taken by a drone of dump sites with sacks of contaminated radioactive soil. To save space they are stacked in layers, one on top of the other.
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