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The Globe and Mail

Inside the Japan's nuclear exclusion zone

A year after a tsunami crippled Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant and caused widespread radiation leaks, a massive and complex cleanup has begun, but experts say areas inside the nuclear exclusion zone will be difficult to decontaminate.

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Cluttered desks are left abandoned in the city hall offices of the town of Namie, inside the 20-kilometer exclusion zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, in northeastern Japan, July 8, 2011. A year after the Tsunami, cleanup has begun, but experts say areas inside the nuclear exclusion zone will be difficult to decontaminate.

David Guttenfelder/AP Photo/David Guttenfelder/AP Photo

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Vines grow across the road next to an abandoned car near the town of Naraha, inside the 20-kilometer exclusion zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant July 16, 2011. A year after the Tsunami, cleanup has begun, but experts say areas inside the nuclear exclusion zone will be difficult to decontaminate.

David Guttenfelder/AP Photo/David Guttenfelder/AP Photo

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Weeds grow from the cracks in the road and sidewalk in the abandoned town of Namie, inside the 20-kilometer exclusion zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant July 24, 2011. A year after the Tsunami, cleanup has begun, but experts say areas inside the nuclear exclusion zone will be difficult to decontaminate.

David Guttenfelder/AP Photo/David Guttenfelder/AP Photo

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Abandoned shopping carts sit in the parking lot of a supermarket along highway 6 near Tomioka, inside the 20-kilometer exclusion zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant July 26, 2011. A year after the Tsunami, cleanup has begun, but experts say areas inside the nuclear exclusion zone will be difficult to decontaminate.

David Guttenfelder/AP Photo/David Guttenfelder/AP Photo

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Garbage lies on an abandoned street in Odaka, inside the 20-kilometer exclusion zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, in northeastern Japan, July 24, 2011. A year after the Tsunami, cleanup has begun, but experts say areas inside the nuclear exclusion zone will be difficult to decontaminate.

David Guttenfelder/AP Photo/David Guttenfelder/AP Photo

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An earthquake-damaged street sits in front of an abandoned shop in the town of Naraha, inside the 20-kilometer exclusion zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant July 16, 2011 . A year after the Tsunami, cleanup has begun, but experts say areas inside the nuclear exclusion zone will be difficult to decontaminate.

David Guttenfelder/AP Photo/David Guttenfelder/AP Photo

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A coin laundry facility sits empty in the town of Namie, inside the 20-kilometer exclusion zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant July 17, 2011. A year after the Tsunami, cleanup has begun, but experts say areas inside the nuclear exclusion zone will be difficult to decontaminate.

David Guttenfelder/AP Photo/David Guttenfelder/AP Photo

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A car sits in a pool of water in what used to be a residential neighborhood in the town of Namie, inside the 20-kilometer exclusion zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant July 24, 2011. A year after the Tsunami, cleanup has begun, but experts say areas inside the nuclear exclusion zone will be difficult to decontaminate.

David Guttenfelder/AP Photo/David Guttenfelder/AP Photo

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Earthquake damaged buildings sit along an empty street at night in the abandoned town of Namie, inside the 20-kilometer exclusion zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant July 10, 2011. A year after the Tsunami, cleanup has begun, but experts say areas inside the nuclear exclusion zone will be difficult to decontaminate.

David Guttenfelder/AP Photo/David Guttenfelder/AP Photo

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Toppled shoe shelves lie in the entry way of an abandoned primary school in the abandoned town of Namie, inside the 20-kilometer exclusion zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant June 19, 2011. A year after the Tsunami, cleanup has begun, but experts say areas inside the nuclear exclusion zone will be difficult to decontaminate.

David Guttenfelder/AP Photo/David Guttenfelder/AP Photo

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An abandoned street stretches through the town of Naraha, inside the 20-kilometer exclusion zone around the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant July 10, 2011. A year after the Tsunami, cleanup has begun, but experts say areas inside the nuclear exclusion zone will be difficult to decontaminate.

David Guttenfelder/AP Photo/David Guttenfelder/AP Photo

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A dead bird rests on a school gymnasium floor in the abandoned town of Namie,inside the 20-kilometer exclusion zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant July 8, 2011. A year after the Tsunami, cleanup has begun, but experts say areas inside the nuclear exclusion zone will be difficult to decontaminate.

David Guttenfelder/AP Photo/David Guttenfelder/AP Photo

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Weeds grow from the cracks in the road and sidewalk near vending machines in the abandoned town of Namie, inside the 20-kilometer exclusion zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant July 25, 2011. A year after the Tsunami, cleanup has begun, but experts say areas inside the nuclear exclusion zone will be difficult to decontaminate.

David Guttenfelder/AP Photo/David Guttenfelder/AP Photo

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A parkinglot sits empty in the town of Odaka, inside the 20-kilometer exclusion zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant July 23, 2011. A year after the Tsunami, cleanup has begun, but experts say areas inside the nuclear exclusion zone will be difficult to decontaminate.

David Guttenfelder/AP Photo/David Guttenfelder/AP Photo

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Abandoned pet dogs stand in a parking lot in the abandoned town of Namie, inside the 20-kilometer exclusion zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant June 19, 2011. A year after the Tsunami, cleanup has begun, but experts say areas inside the nuclear exclusion zone will be difficult to decontaminate.

David Guttenfelder/AP Photo/David Guttenfelder/AP Photo

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An abandoned pachinko parlor sits along highway 6 near Tomioka, inside the 20-kilometer exclusion zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant July 16, 2011. A year after the Tsunami, cleanup has begun, but experts say areas inside the nuclear exclusion zone will be difficult to decontaminate.

David Guttenfelder/AP Photo/David Guttenfelder/AP Photo

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Toppled grocery baskets lay on the floor of an abandoned grocery store in the abandoned town of Namie, inside the 20-kilometer exclusion zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, in northeastern Japan July 26, 2011 . A year after the Tsunami, cleanup has begun, but experts say areas inside the nuclear exclusion zone will be difficult to decontaminate.

David Guttenfelder/AP Photo/David Guttenfelder/AP Photo

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A dead calf decomposes inside a barn in the abandoned, town of Naraha, inside the 20-kilometer exclusion zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, in northeastern Japan July 9, 2011. A year after the Tsunami, cleanup has begun, but experts say areas inside the nuclear exclusion zone will be difficult to decontaminate.

David Guttenfelder/AP Photo/David Guttenfelder/AP Photo

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