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Flight over Fukushima reveals cleanup gaps

Progress of recovery efforts governed by proximity to crippled nuclear plant

Green sheets cover bags of radioactive waste in the city of Tomioka in Fukushima Prefecture. (Photo by Shinya Sawai)

FUKUSHIMA, Japan -- Flying over the city of Tomioka in Fukushima Prefecture seven years ago revealed a landscape checkered with green farms. The quilted pattern remains visible today, but many of the farms have been replaced by rows of plastic sheets covering bags of radioactive soil.

A similar sight from the air can be seen in nearby Futaba, another city ravaged by the country's March 2011 earthquake and home to a temporary storage facility for radioactive waste.

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