On the one year anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Europeans have also been remembering the events that affected thousands of people.
Galvanised by the disaster at the Fukushima power plant, anti-nuclear demonstrations were held in Germany. Organisers say more than 50,000 people in six regions took part.
“I’m a mother of five children and I take care of the next generation. Now I feel a responsibility to answer my children’s questions and raise questions I also have,” said protester Erika Rieger.
Germany’s eight oldest nuclear reactors were closed after Fukushima – the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl – and another nine will be offline by 2022.
Belgian group Stop Nuclear Kernenergie organised an event in Brussels calling for an end to the use of nuclear energy. With the aim of shutting down Belgium’s nuclear facilities, protesters insisted that nuclear power in unsafe.
Organisers of French demonstrations claim 60,000 supporters formed a human chain 230 kilometres long, stretching from Lyon to Avignon. The Rhone Valley region has the highest concentration of nuclear reactors in France, and the country is the most dependent on nuclear power in the world.