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FRONTLINE; Inside Japan's Nuclear Meltdown

Part of Stories of East and South East Asia.


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Inside Japan's Nuclear Meltdown
Program Number


Series Description

FRONTLINE is investigative journalism that questions, explains and changes our world. Since 1983, FRONTLINE has served as PBS's flagship public affairs series. Hailed upon its television broadcast debut as "the last best hope for broadcast documentaries," FRONTLINE's stature is reaffirmed each week through incisive documentaries covering the scope and complexity of the human experience.

Program Description

FRONTLINE continues its investigation of nuclear safety with an unprecedented account of the crisis inside the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex after a devastating earthquake and tsunami struck Japan on March 11, 2011. With exclusive eyewitness testimony from key figures in the drama, including the Japanese Prime Minister and senior executives at the power company Tepco, FRONTLINE tells the story of the workers struggling frantically to reconnect power inside the plant's pitch-dark and highly radioactive reactor buildings; the nuclear experts and officials in the Prime Minister's office fighting to get information as the crisis spiraled out of control; and the plant manager who disobeyed his executives' orders when he thought it would save the lives of his workers. The story profiles the Japanese soldiers and firefighters drafted to cool the reactors, who were wounded when the reactor housings exploded; and the families living near the nuclear plant, who unknowingly fled in the same direction as the radioactive plume, exposing themselves to dangerously high radiation levels.

A Quicksilver Media production for WGBH/FRONTLINE



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Environmental Issues
Politics and Government
Social Issues
Global Affairs
Edge, Dan (Writer)
Fanning, David (Executive Producer)
Publication Information
WGBH Educational Foundation
Chicago: “FRONTLINE; Inside Japan's Nuclear Meltdown,” 02/23/2012, GBH Archives, accessed March 3, 2024,
MLA: “FRONTLINE; Inside Japan's Nuclear Meltdown.” 02/23/2012. GBH Archives. Web. March 3, 2024. <>.
APA: FRONTLINE; Inside Japan's Nuclear Meltdown. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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