Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant – Then and Now

Yesterday we posted on the deepening crisis at the blast-damaged Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan; our first version of that post compared a March 16 high-resolution satellite image of the plant with what we thought was a March 12 image of the same plant. A couple of alert readers pointed out that the March 12 image actually showed a sister nuke plant nearby, the Fukushima Daini plant, so we removed that image from the blog (you can see it here).

Today, we’ll take a look at before-and-after images of the struggling Daiichi plant made using imagery from DigitalGlobe and Google Earth:

Fukushima Daiichi, high-resolution satellite image taken March 16, 2011 (from DigitalGlobe). Obvious damage to the outer containment buildings from hydrogen explosions at reactor units 1, 3 and 4. Unit 2 appears relatively intact but unseen damage inside the unit from a March 14 explosion is posing a serious threat

 

Fukushima Daiichi, high-resolution satellite image taken in 2004, with 3-d buildings shown for reference (from Google Earth)

 

Fukushima Daiichi, high-resolution satellite image taken in 2004 without 3-d buildings overlay (from Google Earth)