Seaside nuclear power

May 21, 2013

Omaezaki, Japan

By Toru Hanai

Chubu Electric Power Co.’s Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station in Japan is located at water level next to a beach. It is also widely reported to be one of the world’s most dangerous nuclear plants as it sits close to a major fault line – not unlike the one that caused the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

I had an offer of an exclusive tour of Chubu Nuclear Power Station where an 18-meter (60 ft) high and 1.6 km (1 mile) long tsunami defense wall has been built at a cost of $1.3 billion.

Being located beachside I immediately thought of basing the main photo for this trip on this famous “ukiyoe” print by the artist Hokusai:

-The Great Wave off Kanagawa-

Hokusai (1760-1849) was a ukiyoe painter and printmaker during the Edo period. I guess that many people have seen this ukiyoe print.

I left Tokyo early with waders for fishing and a compact digital camera in a waterproof housing to get the photo I wanted. I was in time for the high tide.

I entered the sea with my compact camera protected by its housing and my most favorite camera, a Canon 5D Mk3. The waves moved much more quickly than they appeared to from land. It was so strong it was hard to stand, much less take a photograph.

Wonderful white waves crashed only a little in front of me, and I moved towards them for the picture regardless of the danger to my equipment.

The white spray lasted for only an instant. I had to decide whether to aim for “a good photograph” with my waterproof compact camera which is less responsive, or chose the more responsive camera and risk drowning it?

I chose to use my 5D Mk3.

Photographers get absorbed in their work when a good subject is in front of them.

A good wave came.

It crashed into a pillar standing in the sea and splashed high enough to hang over the building of the No. 5 reactor. The wave crashed on me, too.

I got wet through – fortunately it was only me. The camera was safe.

One comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

underwater 5D mkIII – must be new model – tough to shoot story – well shot.

Posted by Cropperboyce | Report as abusive