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Balloons against radiation

August 18, 2012

1,000 balloons released to predict spread of radiation in nuclear plant disaster




People release red balloons into the sky in Omaezaki, Shizuoka Prefecture, on Aug. 18. (Mainichi)






OMAEZAKI, Shizuoka -- Around 25 people gathered along the shore here on Aug. 18 to release balloons to predict the spread of radioactive materials from the nearby Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant in the event of a disaster there.

A total of 1,000 balloons were due to be released by the end of the day. The project, initiated amid concerns that a major earthquake could strike the plant, was planned by photographer Masatoshi Nakagawa, 60.

At 10:40 a.m. on Aug. 18, around 100 red balloons were simultaneously released on the Shirowa coast as an easterly wind blew. The balloons carry cards asking people who find them to contact the project organizers. The locations that the balloons land will be announced on the Internet by the organizers, as they call for vigilance against nuclear plant disasters.

"I want people to see the effects of a nuclear disaster with their eyes and have a concrete image of it," says Nakagawa.



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