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Nuclear power plants work on a very fine margin for error. We all know the tragic story of Chernobyl. However, nearly 12 years ago, a massive tsunami hit Japan, causing a nuclear disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The results were catastrophic, causing all inhabitants to evacuate and almost completely abandon the entire area. The exclusion zone is where radiation levels remain high enough to be harmful. It is here where an urban explorer discovered dozens of extremely rare JDM sports cars completely abandoned

Skyline and 300zx
Skyline and 300zx | Exploring the Unbeaten Path

Abandoned JDM sports cars liter the streets around Fukushima

YouTubers habitually do dumb things on camera to entice users to watch. However, in this case, the YouTube channel, Exploring the Unbeaten Path found that the Fukushima nuclear exclusion zone is the home (grave) of many very cool and very rare JDM sports cars

Of course, most of what got left are the remains of normal people’s normal lives. However, some normal people in Japan have R32 Skylines

What rare JDM cars did the YouTuber find? 

Abandoned Mk4 Toyota Supra in red in Fukushima
Mk4 Toyota Supra | Exploring the Unbeaten Path

The disaster happened in 2011, so keep that in mind for what you might expect to find. Some notable cars found include a Toyota Crown Comfort, Suzuki Jimny, Mitsubishi Evo 7, R32 Skyline, Z33 Nissan 300ZX, S15 Nissan Silvia, MK4 Toyota Supra, Mazda P600 Carol, AW11 Toyota MR2, Honda S2000, Subaru WRX STI, and Subaru Forester STI, plus piles of different Kei trucks and vans; all of which would make any Japanese car fan explode with envy. 

Why hasn’t anyone taken the abandoned cars? 

Well, it turns out there are pesky things called property laws. However, theft aside, The Drive explains that Japan has some pretty specific export laws.

In case you were getting a little too upset about these cars being left to rot, there is a decent chance that after steeping in all that radiation, they, too, have become irradiated. Aside from the obvious issue of driving an irradiated car, Japan has strict laws forbidding any exports that measure over 0.3 microsieverts, which is measured and exceeded by at least one car in the video. Despite these laws, reports have come in from around the world of radioactive JDM cars. The Drive notes a van that was emitting 110 microsieverts per hour. 

What happens to a car exposed to high-level radiation?

While most car people worry about rust eventually getting an old barn find before it’s discovered, these irradiated cars might not have to worry about that as much. However, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t likely to face a similar or even more gruesome car death. 

According to The Drive, exposing certain metals to high-level radiation can cause the metal to harden and become brittle. This phenomenon is so creatively called radiation hardening. Along with brittleness, the metal can begin to become misshapen and even crack. 

These rare and beautiful cars slowly rotting and turning neon green is a shame. IIt’snever fun to watch beautifully made things get destroyed. However, it clearly pales in comparison to the bigger picture of the Fukushima disaster.