After the earthquake, workers were sent inside Reactor 1 at the Fukushima plant to release some of the pressure building up inside the reactors. Frontline hide caption

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Workers in protective suits and masks wait to enter the emergency operation center at the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station on Nov. 12, 2011. David Guttenfelder /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption David Guttenfelder /AFP/Getty Images

A 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck Japan offshore on March 11, setting into motion a tsunami that engulfed large parts of northeastern Japan and triggered a nuclear meltdown at a power plant in Fukushima. On March 26, a man walks among debris in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, Japan. Athit Perawongmetha/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Athit Perawongmetha/Getty Images

Workers decontaminate the roof of a kindergarten about 12 miles from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan last month. Several hundred Japanese seniors have volunteered to take part in the cleanup effort. Hiro Komae/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Hiro Komae/AP

Farmers whose crops were ruined by a nuclear accident protest Aug. 3 at the Tokyo Electric Power Co. Many Japanese are calling for the country to lessen its dependence on nuclear power following the accident six months ago. Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda was chosen leader of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan on Monday. That all but ensures his selection as Japan's next prime minister. Hiro Komae/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Hiro Komae/AP

Most of Kesennuma's large fishing boats either survived the tsunami or have been repaired. But many do not move from the dock, because most of the city's fish-processing factories still lie in ruins. Frank Langfitt/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Frank Langfitt/NPR

Boston-based NGO All Hands is restoring water-damaged photos recovered from Japan's tsunami using scanners and a host of professional photo re-touchers around the world. Frank Langfitt/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Frank Langfitt/NPR

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan speaks during a news conference in Tokyo in May. The beleaguered leader is expected to step down in coming weeks. Koji Sasahara/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Koji Sasahara/AP

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission says American nuclear plants need to be better prepared for the sudden and continued loss of electric power. Above, the Limerick Generating Station, a nuclear power plant in Pottstown, Pa. Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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In Tokyo today, newspapers printed extra editions to report about the women soccer team's victory in the World Cup. Yoshikazu Tsuno /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Workers at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant spray a substance to help reduce dust on April 1. Experts say it's likely that workers at the plant could have reduced the severity of the accident if they had made different decisions during the crisis. TEPCO hide caption

itoggle caption TEPCO

This March 24 aerial photo shows the extent of damage at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Japan. The 40-foot-tall tsunami destroyed the electrical and cooling systems, resulting in meltdowns at some of the reactors. Air Photo Service/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Air Photo Service/AP

Nisaka Mieko gathers chives, which have been contaminated by radiation from the Fukushima nuclear reactor accident. She says she may lose $25,000 in crops, and hopes to plant some of the seeds next year. Louisa Lim/NPR hide caption

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