How Fukushima turned a nuclear advocate into an antinuclear champion — The Christian Science Monitor

” Trading “le nucléaire” for renewables is a tough sell in the planet’s most nuclear-dependent nation.

Naoto Kan came to France anyway. The once pro-nuclear former prime minister who led Japan through the Fukushima nuclear disaster recently made a swing through one of France’s most nuclearized areas – the tip of Normandy – giving struggling environmentalists a rare boost.

An improbable activist in his conservative dark suit and tie, Mr. Kan came to explain his 180-degree switch from pro-nuclear to antinuclear crusader, and urge people to go for renewables instead.

“I came here because I am fiercely opposed to nuclear power, and I want to show my solidarity with people fighting it here,” Kan politely told a small crowd of activists near Flamanville’s controversial EPR nuclear reactor. “Before Fukushima I was pronuclear,” he said, laying flowers on a homemade memorial to unknown radiation victims whose slogan, “aux irradiés inconnus,” mimics monuments to unknown soldiers dotting France. “But with Fukushima, we almost had to evacuate millions of people, and I realized we had to stop nuclear power – in France, Japan, the world – and turn to renewables as fast as possible.”

Kan’s unusual visit buoyed “écolos” in rural Normandy, where the nuclear industry employs thousands and its critics feel marginalized. “We’re used to criticism, but his message is universal, so he gives the opposition credibility,” said retired schoolteacher and veteran activist Paulette Anger, secretary of Crilan, one of two small anti-nuclear groups hosting Kan.

How to produce electricity safely is a quandary many countries have grappled with since the Fukushima Daiichi disaster – the planet’s second major nuclear accident after the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe. It’s a question Kan never thought he’d face when he became prime minister of Japan on June 8, 2010.

Nine months later, Japan’s worst nuclear accident confronted him with its greatest crisis since World War II.

Kan was a science buff who thought nuclear power was needed in a plugged-in world. After majoring in applied physics at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, he was drawn to ’60s activism, and then entered politics.

But on March 11, 2011, a massive category-9 earthquake and tsunami hit Japan’s east coast, killing thousands. Huge waves swamped the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex, knocking out electric power to its six reactors and seven spent fuel pools.

Kan followed with dread as the power loss halted cooling to the nuclear fuel rods in the reactors and spent fuel pools. The failure of all backup fixes inexorably led to three meltdowns and several hydrogen explosions, spewing long-lived radioactive poisons across the countryside.

“Human error is inevitable,” Kan told a rapt crowd of 400, packed into a community center near Flamanville’s village church. Because a nuclear accident robs people of their lives and ancestral lands, the risk is too high, Kan said in guttural Japanese, pausing for his translator to catch up. “So I’m trying to use this terrible experience to convince as many people as I can to get out of nuclear power.”

For his antinuclear hosts, Kan was the biggest guest star since oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau came to fight the Flamanville reactors decades ago.

“It’s remarkable to have the former prime minister here,” said retired schoolteacher and antinuclear veteran Didier Anger, president of Crilan and a spokesman for Can-Ouest, the two antinuclear groups co-hosting Kan. “When someone changes their mind as Mr. Naoto Kan has, bravo!” he said to resounding applause.

A fictionalized film of the disaster’s first days accompanied Kan. “Le Couvercle du Soleil” (“The Seal of the Sun”), produced by Tomiyoshi Tachibana, shows the besieged prime minister struggling to understand the problem so he can react without causing panic. The secretive fictional power company lies and stalls. A chain of errors leads to disaster. In a key turning point, radiation levels in the doomed plants get so high the power company wants to leave. In what investigators conclude “saves Japan,” Kan orders them to stay.

An earthquake and tsunami are catastrophes that end, Kan explains in his book, “My Nuclear Nightmare.” But leaving an unmanageable nuclear reactor alone only lets things get worse.

The disaster released massive amounts of radiation, created 160,000 refugees, drove farmers to suicide, and rendered a beautiful part of Japan uninhabitable for years. After a no-confidence vote, Kan resigned, but not before insisting on legislation easing Japan’s path to renewables.

Chernobyl got explained away as an accident in an old reactor in an undeveloped nation. For Kan, Fukushima underscored the false assumption that nuclear disaster can’t happen in a high-tech country. By luck, he didn’t have to order Tokyo and 50 million people evacuated for 30 to 50 years, he said.

Now, Kan travels the world as a guest of antinuclear groups, warning about the powerful collection of special interests promoting nuclear power.

“Those who benefit from nuclear power are not the ones who will pay,” he warned, noting that the half-life of plutonium is 24,000 years. Fukushima, he stressed, is not over.

After speaking to the National Assembly in Paris and the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Kan toured Normandy’s “nuclear peninsula.” Activists took Kan along the rugged coast to view Flamanville’s controversial EPR reactor from a cliff. They drove him past France’s oldest nuclear waste dump to the huge La Hague nuclear waste reprocessing plant, home of Europe’s largest store of nuclear materials, tons of plutonium, and thousands of tons of nuclear waste. A citizen scientist from the independent radiation lab ACRO showed Kan two contaminated streams amid bucolic cow pastures behind the nuclear waste plant, including one where authorities last year confirmed plutonium in sediments. Kan admired the grand view at the peninsula’s jagged tip, where the waste plant’s discharge pipe routinely pours thousands of gallons of radioactive wastewater out to sea with government permission.

After the disaster, Japan shut down its 54 nuclear reactors, 12 of them permanently. Five restarted, but efforts to restart more are stalled by public opposition. Kan wants them all shut down.

Fukushima had a profound effect on global nuclear programs, said Mycle Schneider, a Paris-based independent energy and nuclear policy analyst and lead author of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report. “It accelerated its decline in Europe, the US, globally – and significantly slowed down expansion in China.”

Still, France’s 58 reactors produce almost three-quarters of its electricity.

Flamanville’s Mayor Patrick Fauchon echoed the French industry view that its plants are safe. “I think it’s important that he share his experience,” he said of Kan. “But it’s his fight.” As for a nuclear accident here: “I’m not particularly worried.”

Meanwhile, Kan’s visit left veteran critics of le nucléaire feeling buoyed.

“It probably won’t change opinions on the pronuclear side,” Ms. Anger said. “But because he lived through certain things and was once pronuclear, it made them think. His visit enormously enhanced our credibility. It was a big event.” ”

by contributor Clare Kittredge, The Christian Science Monitor

source with internal links


How the US and Japan see India as ripe for nuclear exploitation — SimplyInfo

This article by SimplyInfo provides a lot of good context for the reasons behind Japan’s push to export nuclear technology in India.

Also read the Catch News article, “Keep your nuclear power, Mr. Shinzo Abe. We can do without a Fukushima.

Are forces of darkness gathering in Japan? — The Japan Times opinion

” Certainly it’s worse in China, South Korean security recently beat demonstrators and Spain faces a blanket gag rule, but are concerns about the anti-democratic forces of darkness in Japan unduly alarmist? How bad can it be if protestors in Hibiya Park can carry placards depicting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as Adolf Hitler?

Bad enough, alas. New York Times Tokyo bureau chief Martin Fackler, among others, recently implicated Team Abe in getting Shigeaki Koga, a prominent Abe critic, axed from Asahi TV’s “Hodo Station” program.

“I am afraid that media organizations’ self-restraint is spreading and, as a result, accurate information is not reaching the public,” Koga said at a press conference, claiming he was the victim of a political vendetta and corporate media timidity.

Mindful of the orchestrated attacks on the Asahi’s news organs and fearful of right-wing reprisals, self-censorship is a growing problem. Columbia University’s Gerald Curtis told me about the recent cancellation of a planned television interview that was to take place in New York. The local correspondent informed him that the Japanese network’s management in Tokyo nixed the interview because it was going to assess how Abe has handled the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, and this topic was deemed too sensitive.

Curtis says the worrying lesson here is that “the government doesn’t have to muzzle the press if the press takes it upon itself to do the muzzling.”

But the government is taking no chances.

Conservative Abe cronies were appointed to NHK’s top management last year, and Katsuto Momii, a man without any media experience, was named chairman. He later declared to the press, “When the government is saying ‘Right’ we can’t say ‘Left.’”

Since Momii began promoting this curious vision at NHK, staff have complained that managers are strictly insisting on wording that hues to government views on controversial topics such as Yasukuni Shrine, disputed territories and the “comfort women.” To ensure conformity, NHK now publishes an internal censorship manual, called the “Orange Book,” banning the use of the term “sex slaves” and other phrases identified as problematic. NHK insiders told me that some recalcitrant staff suffered career derailments because they didn’t toe the line, including a group that openly called on Momii to step down.

There is no smoking gun, and it could be a routine staff rotation, but an apparent casualty of the purge is NHK’s “News Watch 9″ anchor Kensuke Okoshi, who has spoken out against nuclear power and committed other “transgressions.”

Controversy erupted last summer when Naoki Hyakuta, a best-selling writer and conservative on history issues, was handpicked by Abe to serve on NHK’s board of governors. Hyakuta criticized Okoshi’s on-air comments about ethnic Korean residents in Japan that were aired July 17, 2014. Okoshi said: “The first-generation Korean residents were those who were forcibly brought to Japan or moved to the country to seek jobs after the annexation of Korea in 1910. They had a lot of difficulties establishing their foundations for living.”

At the subsequent NHK board of governors meeting, Hyakuta reportedly asked: “Is it acceptable to say ethnic Korean residents are those who were forcibly taken by Japan? That is wrong.”

The acting chair informed Hyakuta that as a governor, comments about the content of an individual program violated the broadcasting law. Hyakuta has since resigned his position, complaining he wasn’t able to have any impact, but one can imagine that NHK staff felt his presence, and indeed Okoshi is no longer a newscaster despite being one of the most respected in the business.

“The systematic suppression of the press and freedom of speech by the Abe government and its functionaries is very, very disturbing in terms of its effects on the future course of Japan and its democracy,” says Ayako Doi, a journalist based in the United States who is currently an associate fellow of the Asia Society. In her view, things have gotten significantly worse under Abe. She cites the Liberal Democratic Party’s summons of Japanese media executives, the Japanese consul general in Frankfurt’s visit to the editors of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and a Foreign Ministry official’s visit to publisher McGraw-Hill in New York to ask for changes in the descriptions of Japan’s comfort women system of sexual slavery written in a U.S. history textbook.

“They have become more numerous, blatant and unapologetic,” she says, adding that the government is targeting both Japanese and non-Japanese critics alike.

Japan Times columnist Gregory Clark says the atmosphere of intimidation has become exceptionally “ugly,” attributing it to a “right-wing rebound and revenge.”

“Something strange is going on,” he says, citing recent attacks on progressive media. “Particularly given that Tokyo keeps talking about its value identification with the West.”

Well-placed sources in Washington previously told me that even overseas the Japanese government actively disparages Abe’s critics, something that Doi isn’t surprised by.

“It seems that under the Abe government, efforts to silence critics of his policies and interpretation of history have become systematic,” she says. “It now appears to be a concerted effort orchestrated by Kantei (the prime minister’s office).”

Japan’s right-wing media also engages in trans-Pacific intimidation. For example, a rightwing pundit slammed the National Bureau of Asian Research’s Japan-U.S. Discussion Forum, making groundless accusations about an anti-Japan bias. He also attacked the Japan Foundation’s Center for Global Partnership for sponsoring a research project regarding Sino-Japanese relations and history issues. This research project was deemed a waste of Japanese taxpayers’ money and some of the researchers were subject to defamatory attacks on their professional integrity. But it would be a sad day for Japanese democracy if the right wing gets to set the research agenda, pick the scholars and decide what they should conclude.

Clark himself was publicly defamed for his alleged anti-Japanese views because he raised some questions about government and media representations concerning the North Korean abductions of Japanese nationals. Following that, he says his university employer received a cascade of threatening letters demanding he be sacked.

“Requests to write articles for the magazines and newspapers I had long known dried up,” Clark says. “Invitations to give talks on Japan’s lively lecture circuit died overnight. One of Japan’s largest trading companies abruptly canceled my already-announced appointment as outside board director with the vague excuse of wanting to avoid controversy.”

Lamentably, he added, “You cannot expect anyone to come to your aid once the nationalistic right-wing mood creators, now on the rise, decide to attack you. Freedom of speech and opinion is being whittled away relentlessly.”

Exposing such orchestrated attacks and highlighting the dangers of self-censorship are all the more important in contemporary Japan because, as Doi puts it, media freedom is “sliding down a slippery slope” and it’s important to “speak out before the momentum becomes unstoppable.” ”

by Jeff Kingston


Government withheld 1984 report of a simulated attack on a nuclear power plant — The Japan Times

” The Foreign Ministry secretly conducted a simulation in 1984 to assess damage from a hypothetical attack on a nuclear power plant in a war and concluded that up to 18,000 people would be killed with acute symptoms from radiation exposure, it emerged Wednesday.

The previously secret report also mentioned the possibility of a hydrogen explosion that could follow the meltdown of fuel rods in a nuclear power plant, the exact phenomenon that happened during the 2011 Fukushima crisis.

Anti-nuclear activists slammed the ministry for not publicizing the report earlier, allegedly out of fear that the warnings could fan anti-nuclear sentiment among the public.

“The report should have not been held secret. (The government) should publicize it and consider how it can protect” nuclear power plants, said Hideyuki Ban of the Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center.

The content of the document was first reported Wednesday by the Tokyo Shimbun, which obtained a copy of the 63-page report through the information disclosure law.

The Japan Times confirmed the outline and key conclusions of the report with a senior Foreign Ministry official.

According to Yasushi Noguchi, head of the ministry’s arms control and disarmament division, the ministry asked the Japan Institute of International Affairs, an affiliate of the ministry, to draw up the report after Israel staged an airstrike and destroyed a reactor under construction in Iraq in 1981.

Noguchi said the report concluded that up to 18,000 people would die in the worst-case scenario if the primary containment vessel of a 1 million kilowatt-class reactor in Japan was severely damaged and local residents did not evacuate immediately.

In another scenario, the report also warned that if all power supplies were cut and critical cooling functions lost, fuel rods would melt down. The hydrogen generated from metals used for fuel assembly cladding could then potentially cause an explosion.

This type of hydrogen explosion actually happened and aggravated the meltdown crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant after the massive tsunami of March 11, 2011, knocked out the power supply, killing the critical cooling operation.

Few plant workers and nuclear experts anticipated a hydrogen explosion until one actually ripped through the No. 3 reactor building.

The Tokyo Shimbun alleged the Foreign Ministry did not publish the report because it feared it would fan anti-nuclear sentiment while the government was trying to build more nuclear power plants in the 1980s.

Noguchi said it was not published because it was intended as an internal reference for Foreign Ministry officials.

Ban claimed nuclear plants in Japan are not designed to be robust enough to withstand missile attacks or a suicide airplane crash such as the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York in 2001.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority now requires that reactor buildings be robust enough to withstand the “intentional crash of a large aircraft” and other terrorist attacks.

But the NRA declines to disclose any more details of the safety regulations, saying they should be kept secret for security reasons. ”


A Body in Fukushima, interview with Wesleyan University professor and visiting artist

I encourage you to watch this interview with William Johnston, a professor of history and east Asian studies at Wesleyan University, and Eiko Otake, a visiting artist in Wesleyan’s dance department and the College of East Asian Studies. Beginning 15 minutes into the video, Johnston explains the rise of nuclear power in Japan in the ’50s, when the Japanese government propagated nuclear power to gain a reputation of safety. Now the deserted towns of Fukushima Prefecture such as Tomoika are dumping grounds for radioactive waste and will not be habitable for decades if not centuries. William also criticizes the soil decontamination efforts.

Otake discusses her experience in Fukushima, where she was photographed wearing fabric from her grandmother’s kimono. She explains her feelings as a result of being in such an empty, deserted place and reflects on the loss of the Fukushima evacuees.

Summary from Wesleyan University’s website: ” A Body in Fukushima is a haunting series of color photographs and videos presented in a groundbreaking exhibition across all three of Wesleyan’s galleries. Last year, dancer-choreographer Eiko Otake and photographer-historian William Johnston followed abandoned train tracks through desolate stations into eerily vacant towns and fields in Fukushima, Japan. Following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, the explosions of the Daiichi nuclear plant made the area uninhabitable. Sometimes in vulnerable gestures and at other times in a fierce dance, Eiko embodies grief, anger, and remorse. Mr. Johnston’s crystalline images capture her with the cries of the Fukushima landscapes. ‘By placing my body in these places,’ she says, ‘I thought of the generations of people who used to live there. I danced so as not to forget.’ A project of witness, remembrance, and empathy, A Body in Fukushima grapples with the reality of human failure. As Mr. Johnston writes, ‘By witnessing events and places, we actually change them and ourselves in ways that may not always be apparent but are important.’ ”

watch video

**Report from Fukushima and the Abe government expansion and export of nuclear plants

The Nuclear Free California Network hosted this conference on Jan. 24 and 25, 2015, in San Luis Obispo near the Diablo Canyon.

[Note: All text in quotations is directly quoted from the speakers’ translator, Carole Hisasue, who represents Mothers For Peace, and all other text is a paraphrased version of Hisasue’s translation.]

The first speaker, Chieko Shiina from Fukushima and a supporter of the Fukushima Collaborative Clinic, says that radiation “doesn’t discriminate between organisms. It destroys everything.” In Futaba City after the March 2011 triple meltdown, a company that raised ostriches for slaughter released its ostriches into the streets, exposing them to radiation. People were evacuated, but all animals – cows, dogs, cats and pets – remained in highly contaminated areas. Shiina gave three examples of things that are happening in Fukushima.

(1) Already 85 children have had surgeries for thyroid cancer. One hundred and thirteen children are suspected of having cancer. These startling figures are a reality despite the fact that the Professor Yamashita Shunichi, former president of the exploratory committee for Fukushima Prefectural People’s Health Management Survey, said a child has a one in a million chance of getting cancer from exposure to radiation from Fukushima. In reality, that probability is one is 3,000 – an epidemic. Mr. Sugami, head of the National Cancer Research Center, estimated that cancer rates in Fukushima have risen 61 times. And still, the central and Fukushima prefectural governments claim that these rates are not a result of radiation exposure. “How long does the government think that we’ll be silent about this, in light of this epidemic? My anger will never die down. And then to think of the parents of the small children, how worried they must be. That’s one of the reasons why I set up this collaborative clinic in Fukushima. It’s operated solely by donations from people and is completely independent of the government.” The Fukushima adults are also experiencing health problems from radiation exposure – increased rates of thyroid cancer, heart attacks, leukemia, cataracts and many other health problems. It’s up to us to gather and disseminate this information.

(2) The Japanese government has opened a road that runs about nine miles from Fukushima Daiichi. It is considered open but “not for use.” They say that when you do use this road, you must have all the windows rolled up, you can’t use the air conditioning, and there’s no parking allowed on the road. “And of course, no pedestrians, motorbikes or bicycles are allowed.” So why did they even open it? It was just a front to allow the government to continue justifying its agenda: Radiation doesn’t affect Fukushima; It is safe to hold the Olympics in Japan; Restarting other nuclear plants and going to war is fine. “I cannot forgive the government. They are murderers. This is definitely a holocaust.”

(3) “I’m sure you all know about the temporary housing, where the evacuees have had to go and have been there for many years now.” The temporary housing is made up of flimsy shacks separated by plywood. “These are the people that are from the rural areas of Japan. They had lots of land. They were used to living out in the open with tons and tons of space. Now they’ve been living in these cramped quarters separated by flimsy plywood for four years now. They can’t go home. There’s nowhere to go. The radiation is too high. They used to be getting compensation from the government, but that’s been stopped. They used to be getting a transportation allowance, but that’s been stopped too. Now they’re just forgotten people completely cut off.” These people are suffering from psychological damage too, like insomnia. There are also higher rates of suicide. “These are related deaths but not directly related. The government will never seen them as being a direct effect of the radiation. So that’s the reality of a nuclear radiation war because you can’t see the radiation, and there’s no data going around. The media won’t report on it. Everything is just being swept under the rug.

There are other effects to children’s health. They cannot play outside in sandboxes anymore. The government’s solution was to built indoor sandboxes – a glass pen with sand brought in from a different prefecture. We think it’s best to temporarily evacuate the children to allow them to play outdoors, rest, relax and regain strength in uncontaminated prefectures. But the government is promoting the return of Fukushima evacuees to their hometowns, claiming that it is now safe. As a result of the way the government has been handling the situation, the people can’t even talk about their fears of radiation. They want to take their children out of those areas for the weekend so they can play outdoors, but they don’t talk about it with their neighbors, making up excuses why they are taking short vacations. Speaking about radiation exposure has become taboo. “It’s also divided families, for example, families that are still running farms. The grandparents think that the vegetables they are growing are safe, even growing them organically, and they want their grandchildren to eat the vegetables. But the mother thinks, ‘Oh no. I cannot possibly give these vegetables to my children.’ And she will throw them away, but she cannot even talk about that to her own parents.”

Last March 11, a Japanese news station called “Hodo Station,” aired a program on Fukushima. The director promised to make a follow-up show, telling an interviewee that they would be airing it soon. Instead, the program was never aired, and the director died. The director told one of the interviewees, a mother, that if she hears of his death, she should not believe that it was a suicide, no matter what others are saying. “There is no truth in the media in Japan today. There are all sorts of these mysterious events happening that are still unexplained and not investigated.” According to the Japanese government’s new Secrecy Act, any anti-government activities are prohibited, such as a gathering like this. You cannot voice an anti-government opinion. Soon the government will be stopping more and more meetings like this. The damage caused by the nuclear accident was not just radiation exposure. “There have been damage to our liberties, damage to our future for a peaceful Japan, and I want to let you know that I am so glad to be connected with you and to be able to speak with you today. I believe that nuclear power is just another form of nuclear war and nuclear weapons. And this is a struggle between the one percent and the 99 percent, in which everything is done for the profits of the one percent, and the 99 percent are just not important enough. So I believe that when the 99 percent can get together and gain strength, then we have hope for the future. Our lives are for ourselves. It’s not for the one percent. We should not stand for it. Let’s fight together.”

Shiina continues her speech at 39:45 minutes. She explains the growing success of the Fukushima Collaborative Clinic, which has volunteer doctors who test the thyroids of children and adults, including Fukushima Daiichi workers, and is solely funded by donations. By supporting the clinic’s efforts, she feels that she is at war with the Japanese government, which hides the realities of the Fukushima disaster in order to support its pro-nuclear policy. Despite the government’s claim that nuclear power is now safe due to new safety measures and precautions, Shiina questions this logic by the sheer fact that many nuclear power plants in Japan sit on fault lines, and the government has been distributing potassium iodide to populations living near nuclear plants (just in case). She also questions the new safety measures. For example, the government wants to restart a power plant in Hokkaido, the northern-most island of Japan that has a long winter. Evacuation drills have been conducted in the summertime, but citizens question why they shouldn’t be prepared in the event of a nuclear disaster during the winter.

Shiina advocates for labor unions and worker strikes with citizen support in order to prevent new nuclear power plants to be built and old plants to be restarted. There is a railway that runs close to Fukushima Daiichi, the Joban line. In its effort to revive Fukushima’s economy, the government tried to reopen the line, which is completely contaminated, inside and out. The Doro Mito railway workers refused to work on the line because they didn’t want to work in highly radioactive conditions, and they didn’t want passengers to be exposed to those conditions. “I believe that if the citizens and the workers all join together and work together as one, anything is possible.”

* * *

The second speaker is Chizu Hamada from No Nukes Action. [Her speech begins 33 minutes in.] Hamada explains that only the elderly evacuees from Fukushima Prefecture want to return to their homes. The young people, especially mothers, do not want to return. However, the Japanese government says certain areas are safe to live in and threaten the evacuees to move back by cutting off their compensation one year after their evacuation zone has been lifted, i.e. deemed safe to inhabit. The government simply doesn’t want to continue paying compensation.

Secondly, there have been many mysterious deaths related to radiation exposure that the local government has not recognized. The government counts 1,758 deaths related to Fukushima radiation, but there are actually many more. This misinformation is related to the new Secrecy Act, which makes exposing such information punishable.

Thirdly, Japan’s nuclear front has two good pieces of news. Last year, Kansai Electric Power Co. lost its suit in trying to restart to reactors at the Oi Nuclear Power Plant in Fukui. The verdict stated, “Human lives are above the profit of industries.” Contributing to this verdict was a lawsuit brought against an electric company by the husband of a Korean cancer victim, claiming that radiation from a nuclear power plant caused his wife’s cancer. This is one of the few instances in Japan were there is an accepted causal relationship between radiation exposure from a nuclear power plant and cancer.

* * *

The third speaker is Isamu “Sam” Kanno of No Nukes Asian Action, an anti-nuclear organization that brought a class action lawsuit, with 3,853 plaintiffs from 39 countries, against GE, Hitachi and Toshiba for damages resulting from the Fukushima disaster. No Nukes Asian Action has gathered 1,290 plaintiffs from Japan, 138 from the United States, 1,000 from Korea and 600 from Taiwan, along other countries such as Germany and Mongolia. “Basically this is an action against the fact that the manufacturers of the nuclear reactors are exempt, by law (the Price-Anderson law, 1957, an amendment to the Atomic Energy Act), from any liability. … ”

” … Eisenhower made the Atoms For Peace speech in 1953, and it was strange because in 1945, two Japanese cities were destroyed by nuclear weapons. We see [Atoms For Peace] as a way to justify holding on to nuclear weapons and nuclear materials. Already the UK and the Soviets had nuclear power since 1955. In the 60 years since then, many countries have gotten nuclear power. What have we gotten from it? Just some steam generation.” The United States persuaded Japan to build nuclear reactors in a country riddled with earthquake faults, but this wasn’t for nuclear power; it was for the potential of nuclear weapons production. In 2012, the United States supported the restart of the Oi nuclear reactors. “There is a slogan going around in Japan saying that nuclear power plants are a nuclear weapon aimed at ourselves. …” The United States has not been creating new nuclear power plants for a long time, but the problem in Asia is that countries like Japan, Korea and Russia are trying to proliferate nuclear power plants and export them to other countries. When a nuclear accident occurs in Japan, the radiation fallout will reach the United States in eight hours, and the radiation in the water will reach the U.S. in about three years. Right now Japan is using the Pacific Ocean as a “giant radioactive sewer.” There’s no way to measure the radioactive debris in Fukushima, some 300 tons [daily], which leaks into the Pacific Ocean through groundwater.

* * *

Toward the end of the video, Carole Hisasue from Mothers For Peace tells her evacuation story from Fukushima and explains that the nuclear power plant in Diablo Canyon, Calif., holds the same risks for a nuclear disaster. Also, Chizu Hamada makes another speech.

watch video here