Fukushima 10 years on
Organisation: The News Lens
Organisation size: Big
Publication date: 11/03/2021
Credit: By If Lin, Steven Yeo, Yan Xiang Huang, TJ Ting, Abby Huang, Nicholas Haggerty, Bryan Chou advisor: Dr. Yu-hao Huang
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It has been ten years since the Fukushima nuclear disaster occurred in 2011, the second Level 7 nuclear accident in human history. The clean-up work is still in progress, and the disposal will generate more polluted waste. It can take more decades to complete the clean-up of the disaster.
This project explains to younger readers or readers with vague memories of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The feature starts with a map showing the impact of the 311 Great East Japan Earthquake on the Fukushima nuclear power plant, using the diagram to show the nuclear reactor’s damage and the rescue methods.
This project has been shared by the Discovery channel Facebook page in Taiwan and many NGOs since published in March 2021. Taiwan just had a referendum vote in November 2021; one of the questions is to restart nuclear reactor #4. This project thus became part of the reference material when discussing Taiwan’s nuclear energy referendum on social networks.
We use QGIS to build the base map and Svelte to build the wireframe. Most diagrams are created by 2.5D graphics using Adobe Illustrator to present flat 3D in this project. Then we use Ai2Html to convert the original Adobe Illustrator files into Html files to add to the web pages.
What was the hardest part of this project?
The most challenging part of this work is translating the data to Chinese and English, as the sources are almost in Japanese, and most of them are professional content. Therefore, we invited a retired professional from the Taiwan Nuclear Energy Agency to help us interpret the data correctly and confirm the accuracy of the work.
The main focus of this project is to transform the professional content into an easy-to-read narrative, with visual charts, to help readers understand the causes of the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the clean-up works.
What can others learn from this project?
We use many 2.5D images to introduce the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the clean-up work, making it easier for readers to understand the information we convey. Appropriate graphics and visualization will be easier for readers to understand than mere textual descriptions. We recommend that journalists make good use of the power of images.