Much has been said about the Fukushima nuclear meltdown that occurred almost 12 years ago, triggered by the largest earthquake ever recorded in Japan. Today, the exclusion zones posted around the plant are much smaller, but as this somewhat haunting video shows, that doesn’t change the fate of the vehicles left in the area after the initial evacuation.
YouTube channel Exploring the Invincible Path offers a glimpse of this fate in a video focused on abandoned cars in the Fukushima Exclusion Zone. In some areas, vehicles have been collected and moved to storage areas for final processing. Elsewhere, we see only car parts glistening in the tall grass, appearing to sit in place as disaster strikes. This appears to be the case for the silver Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII, almost hidden in the grass that reaches above the roof. Or, it could have been deposited there by the massive tsunami that hit the country after an offshore earthquake.
The Evo isn’t the only interesting car in this video. Kei cars, sedans, trucks and lots of commonly driven vehicles seem to be everywhere, but the city explorer stumbles upon an old Datsun race car. Radiation checks showed a reading of 0.45 microsieverts coming from the racer, a level not much above normal but still too much to export.
Throughout the 16-minute clip, we take a look at various sought-after classic Japanese films. A Subaru WRX is seen at one point, followed by a Nissan Skyline R32 and a 300ZX slowly rotting in the sun. Radiation does not discriminate between make and model, as seen in a used car park full of American and German classics. An air-cooled Porsche 911 Carrera 4 from the 964 era covered in dirt pulls hard at the heartstrings.
While a car caught in a flood may be able to be rebuilt or its parts salvaged, radiation does not disappear. While the old Datsun at the start of the video has a low rad level of 0.45 microsieverts, the auto page shown at the end shows readings of up to 5.0 microsieverts, well above normal background radiation. Unfortunately, that means the Subaru WRX STI, VW Scirocco, and Honda S2000 seen in this field are doomed.