The Hydrogen Explosion


Oil on canvas

40 x 29 cm



This painting derives from a photograph representing the hydrogen explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant on the 12th March 2011.


The accident was triggered by the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. The earthquake had generated a tsunami 14 metres high that arrived shortly afterwards, swept over the plant's seawall and then flooded the lower parts of the reactor buildings at units 1–4. This flooding caused the failure of the emergency generators and loss of power to the circulating pumps. The resultant loss of reactor core cooling led to three nuclear meltdowns, three hydrogen explosions, and the release of radioactive contamination in Units 1, 2 and 3.

© Jun Iwamoto