Over 20 years ago, a Japanese palaeontologist warned that there was a huge tsunami about every 1000 years.
He warned that the seawall at the Fukushima nuclear plant would not withstand such a wave.
Even though the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011 were horrific natural disasters, it was the disaster at the Fukushima plant—which was damaged by the tsunami that ended up being three times the height of the protective seawall—that has he most frightening and lasting repercussions.
This Frontline special profiles the Tepco Fukushima nuclear plant disaster, and the ripple effect the event had on the world's feelings about the risks of nuclear power.
"We should not build things that human beings cannot control," says one little league baseball mom who lives in Fukushima City. This woman has justified fears, as her child's team plays 60 miles away from their home field because it is contaminated. Reaction to the Fukushima disaster rippled to other countries, especially Germany, who is now planning to shut down all 17 of its nuclear reactors in the next decade.
However, it is not as simple as just hitting the switch on nuclear power.
The consequences of pulling the plug on nuclear power means returning to fossil fuels and coal until renewable energy sources (like wind and solar) is sustainable.
In the meantime, the nuclear industry is crossing their fingers that public fear of their proven clean, renewable energy will die down until alternatives become viable, or nuclear energy becomes safer.
For now, people across the world, like the 17 million people of the greater New York City area, will just have to cross their fingers that older plants like the Indian Point Nuclear Plant just 50 miles away, will continue operating safely.