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Riding The Nuclear Wave: San Diego Journalist Profiles Fukushima Surfers

Riding The Nuclear Wave: San Diego Journalist Profiles Fukushima Surfers


Kimball Taylor, writer for Surfer Magazine

Travis Pritchard, Programs Director for San Diego Coastkeeper


Photo credit: Kimball Taylor

A well regarded surf spot about 15 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, March 11, 2014.

It's been three years since an earthquake-triggered tsunami caused a meltdown of Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Many residents who were evacuated still have not returned to their homes.

San Diego journalist and author Kimball Taylor traveled to the region and found that while there are concerns globally about contaminated water spreading, surfers in Japan have returned to the water.

Ground water contamination continues to be an issue in the region. Scientists have yet to develop a long-term solution to the problem and are currently in the process of filling massive storage tanks with the irradiated water.

Taylor spoke with surfers living in the city of Sendai, the largest costal city near the nuclear plant. There, he explored the unique cultural beliefs of the Japanese surfers who said they were more afraid of the "ghosts" from their friends and family than any nuclear radiation.

His feature "After the Wave" will be published in the August issue of Surfer Magazine.

Kimball Taylor is the author of Return by Water: Surf Stories and Adventures, as well as, Drive Fast and Take Chances: Fair Warning from Surfers. He’s a longtime contributor to Surfer Magazine. Taylor has co-authored history books on Pipeline and Jeffreys Bay.

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