This article contains major spoilers for the ending of The Days Season 1 Episode 8 on Netflix.
The Days is an eight-part Netflix limited series telling the story of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. The calamity was caused by an earthquake of unprecedented scale occurring under the sea off Japan’s east coast, which resulted in a tsunami and a subsequent nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in ?kuma, Fukushima, Japan.
The series explores this in considerable detail, sometimes to its detriment. Across its eight episodes, it depicts one disaster after another, as various unforeseen circumstances battle against the bravery and ingenuity of those still in the plant, led by its manager, Yoshida.
As we enter the final episode of the season, Yoshida has received permission to evacuate most of the staff, though has remained behind with core personnel to continue trying to cool the reactors. While the Prime Minister fears for Japan’s geopolitical reputation in the face of a full-scale evacuation and a worst-case scenario of a third of the country being left inhospitable for decades, the plant’s workers but their own lives on the line in an effort to prevent things going that far.
The Days Season 1 Ending Explained
How are the reactors stabilized?
As the fire trucks remained inactive, failing to inject water, Yoshida sought guidance from Araki, a member of the Nuclear Security Service, on how to refill the water tanks. Recognizing the complexity of the task, Araki and his colleagues from the Nuclear Security Service volunteered to lend a hand.
Simultaneously, the first helicopter brigade embarked on a mission to drop water into the reactors from above, while TEPCO dispatched pump trucks typically used in construction to perform the same task on the ground.
These combined efforts resulted in a rise in the water level, effectively cooling down the reactors and eventually achieving stability.
Is Fukushima now safe?
Despite the stabilization of the reactors, the US government declined to lift the evacuation order. However, they extended substantial assistance to Japan, including the deployment of the USS Ronald Reagan, over 200 nuclear power experts, and relief supplies.
To address the crisis, four project teams were established at the central command center. Eventually, power was restored to the control room.
Even a month later, efforts toward achieving a cold shutdown continued, but the workers stationed there experienced physical and mental exhaustion, often suffering from symptoms such as blood in their urine. It is no small matter to dismantle a nuclear power plant. The work takes decades due to the potentially far-reaching consequences of mishandling nuclear materials.
While funerals for operators who died in the disaster are held, there are many more lives still to be lost in Fukushima. This doesn’t just include plant personnel but animals and people in the nearby Hamadori region. The highly irradiated debris remains a problem to this day, and decommissioning efforts are still underway.
Did Yoshida survive?
Yoshida survived the accident but was diagnosed with stage-three cancer afterward. Determined to relay the story of the disaster to future generations, he left behind a record of his experiences.
On July 9, 2013, Masao Yoshida passed away at the age of 58. His post-accident testimony, known as The Yoshida Testimony, along with TEPCO’s Fukushima Nuclear Accident Analysis Report, was published.
You can stream The Days Season 1 Episode 8 exclusively on Netflix. Do you have any thoughts on the ending of The Days? Let us know in the comments below.