Fukushima Survivor: I Want ‘To Breathe Freely Again’

BY David Pelcyger  March 9, 2012 at 7:45 PM EDT

Nuclear technician Carl Pillitteri was one of 38 Americans at the Fukushima nuclear power plant when an earthquake and tsunami struck Japan’s eastern coast and triggered a radiation leak at the reactor. It’s taken Pillitteri a full year to be able to talk publicly about what he saw at Fukushima.

Speaking with Alex Chadwick, host of American Public Media’s “Burn: An Energy Journal”, Pillitteri said he’s still struggling to come to terms with the disaster’s impact. “I don’t think I’m ever going to get over it,” he said.

Pillitteri went back to Japan to search for the chef at his favorite restaurant to find out if she survived and how she is managing.

In the video above, Pillitteri discusses his trip and what he learned about her fate:

Watch the full interview with Pillitteri on Fridays NewsHour broadcast. Footage courtesy of SoundVision Productions and American Public Media, funded by the National Science Foundation, which also helps fund the NewsHour.