Response to the Nuclear Disaster

Water spraying operation by the SDF

Bathing Facilities
Water being sprayed from a fire truck

Due to the Great East Japan Earthquake and the ensuing tsunami, Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station suffered damage in the nuclear reactors and other facilities, resulting in the issuance of a Declaration of a Nuclear Emergency Situation.

Shortly after this, the head of the Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters (Prime Minister) requested the dispatch of the SDF to the disaster site, upon which the Minister of Defense ordered Nuclear Disaster Relief Dispatch.

Following this, water spraying operations were started at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, using helicopters owned by the GSDF and fire trucks owned by the GSDF and the ASDF.

Given the high human health risk posed by radiation, the members of the SDF involved in the operation wore protective suits and equipped the floors of helicopters with lead panels, along with other safety measures. They worked courageously to cool the reactors in face of the danger.

Helicopters flying to Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station for water-dropping operations
Helicopters flying to Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station for water-dropping operations

Dropping of water by helicopters

  • Date: March 17, 2011
  • Target: Unit No.3 of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station
  • Vehicle: Two CH-47 helicopters (each helicopter dropped water twice)
  • Volume of water discharged: Approx. 30 tons

Spraying of water by fire trucks

Four water spraying operations were conducted using SDF fire trucks

March 17-18, 2011
Target: Unit No.3 of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station
Volume of water discharged: Approx. 80 tons
March 20-21, 2011
Target: Unit No.4 of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station
Volume of water discharged: Approx. 252 tons

Decontamination Assistance

GSDF personnel conducting decontamination operations
GSDF personnel conducting decontamination operations

The MOD and the SDF have conducted decontamination operations in the Deliberate Evacuation Area and the Emergency Evacuation-Prepared Area near Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. Residents are still unable to return to their homes in these areas due to radioactive materials emitted from the nuclear power station. Dedicated work is continued to make these places safe to live once again as early as possible.

Operation of decontamination depots

As many as nine decontamination depots were established at one time in the vicinity of the nuclear power station, to conduct decontamination operations as well as radiation checks for residents and SDF members.

Decontamination of Key Places by the SDF

The SDF conducted decontamination operations at four municipal offices of Iitate Village, Namie Town, Tomioka Town, and Naraha Town in Fukushima Prefecture, in order to create safe centers for reconstruction and develop an environment that enables residents living away from home to return at an early stage.

  • Date: December 7-19, 2011
  • Units mobilized (Approx. 900 personnel in total): GSDF Northeastern Army 6th Division (44th Infantry Regiment, 6th Artillery Regiment, etc.)
  • Operation detail: Washing with high-pressure water jetting, removal of lawn and surface soil, cleaning of ducts, etc.
  • back
  • next