Netflix's latest dark drama, The Days, is now available to stream on the platform and is a harrowing exploration of a disastrous incident from three different perspectives.


The eight-parter is based on careful research and explores the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident which occurred in 2011 over a period of seven days.

It interrogates the event from three perspectives: the government's, corporate organisations' and those who put their lives on the line.

What happened there on that day? The Days seeks to answer that question.

As per the synopsis for the series: "Blamed by some, hailed as heroes by others, those involved with Fukushima Daiichi face a deadly, invisible threat – an unprecedented nuclear disaster."

But what is the true story behind The Days? Read on for everything you need to know.

Is The Days based on a true story?

The Days - Netflix
The Days will explore the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster. Netflix

It is – The Days is based on the real-life Fukushima nuclear disaster which took place in Ōkuma, Fukushima, Japan, on 11th March 2011.

The cause of the disaster was the Tōhoku earthquake (which, to this day, remains the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in Japan) and the resulting tsunami.

The earthquake triggered the tsunami, with waves reaching up to 14 metres high pummelling Japan's coastline.

But the waves also reached the nuclear power plant and damaged the emergency diesel generators and led to a loss of power.

Due to this loss, the reactor's cooling pumps also stopped working. Without the crucial reactor core cooling, there were three nuclear meltdowns, three hydrogen explosions and the release of radioactive contamination in three different units from 12th March through to the 15th.

The nuclear disaster was the most severe since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 and joined Chernobyl as the only other accident to receive level seven classification on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES).

The radiation that resulted from the disaster forced the government to declare an even larger evacuation zone around the power plant, totalling to a radius of 20 kilometres (12 miles). 110,000 residents in total were evacuated from the communities surrounding the plant.

In the weeks following the disaster, a massive group effort was undertaken to restore heat removal from the reactors and to cope with overheated fuel ponds.

This was done by hundreds of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) employees as well as contractors, firefighter support and the military.

Some of the TEPCO employees had lost their homes and, in some cases, their families in the tsunami, and were made to live in difficult temporary accommodation.

To this day, there's also been ongoing controversy over the disaster due to the large amounts of radioactive isotope contaminated water being released into the Pacific Ocean during and after the disaster.

A plan for an ongoing intensive cleanup has been put in place, meaning there will be an effort to decontaminate affected areas and decommission the plant which will take 30 to 40 years from the disaster, plant management has now estimated.

The 2014 report by United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) and World Health Organization underlined no increase in miscarriages, stillbirths or physical and mental disorders in babies born after the accident.

The most recent 2022 report backed up those initial findings. But UNSCEAR also confirmed that the evacuations had led to devastating repercussions for those involved, including some impacts on mental wellbeing and sociability due to the fact that many were displaced and lost their livelihoods.

Official figures show that there have been 2,313 disaster-related deaths among evacuees from Fukushima prefecture and approximately about 19,500 disaster-related deaths in general, which are in addition to those killed by the earthquake or tsunami.

While many people have wondered whether the 2011 disaster could have been prevented, in 2012 the National Diet of Japan Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC) found that the causes of the disaster had been foreseeable.

They found that plant operator TEPCO had failed to meet the basic safety requirements, which included a risk assessment, developing evacuation plans and preparation for containing collateral damage.

TEPCO is currently leading an extensive Decommissioning Project and Revitalization of Fukushima – the full details of which it outlines on its website.

"The reorganization and recovery of TEPCO cannot be accomplished without the revitalization of Fukushima," the company notes.

It adds: "To show our dedication to this statement, TEPCO is fulfilling our responsibilities for the accident while also doing all that we can to revitalize the living environment and industries of Fukushima."

The Days is now available to stream on Netflix. Sign up for Netflix from £4.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.

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