There are the measurable aspects of Tohoku’s ongoing tragedy — so many becquerels or sieverts of radiation, so many million tons of rubble, so many trillion yen worth of damage and losses of various kinds, so many weeks, months, years or decades before cold shutdown, decontamination, reconstruction, resettlement and economic recovery are achieved.

Then there are the immeasurable aspects. Radiation in the air, soil, food, water and sea has psychological as well as physical effects. “Every day I think of radiation accumulating in my child’s body,” a 36-year-old Tokyo housewife tells the monthly magazine Takarajima. Most experts say Tokyo is safe — but most experts said nuclear power was safe. Do experts know? Can experts be trusted?

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
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