TOKAIMURA, Ibaraki Pref. (Kyodo) On Sept. 30, 1999, Shoichi Oizumi and his wife Keiko couldn’t figure out why helicopters were hovering over their auto parts factory in the village of Tokaimura, Ibaraki Prefecture.

“Firefighters came to our factory to tell us to close the windows as an accident took place at JCO Co.,” a nuclear fuel processor across the street, the 81-year-old Oizumi said. “But they did not know precisely what happened.

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