Green Action Japan, directed by Aileen Mioko Smith (photo, left), has published a press release on the third anniversary of the 3.11 Great East Japan Earthquake. The press release also emphasizes that the Japanese government is pushing for restart of nuclear power, and makes the following major points: No One Held Criminally Responsible for Man-Made Accident; Responsibility for Tsunami Underestimation Should Also be Investigated; Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) Prioritizes Restart of Nuclear Power Over Dealing with Fukushima Daiichi Disaster; Japan’s Nuclear Authorities Are Yet Again Underestimating Earthquake Potential for Destroying Japanese Nuclear Power Plants; and the Nuclear Regulatory Authority [Appears Ready to] Break Its Own Rules. See the full press release here.
World-renowned political dissident, linguist, author and MIT Professor Noam Chomsky traveled to Japan last week ahead of the three-year anniversary of the Fukushima crisis. Chomsky, now 85 years old, met with Fukushima survivors, including families who evacuated the area after the meltdown. "[It’s] particularly horrifying that this is happening in Japan with its unique, horrendous experiences with the impact of nuclear explosions, which we don’t have to discuss," Chomsky says. "And it’s particularly horrifying when happening to children — but unfortunately, this is what happens all the time."
Chomsky also addresses the radioactive contamination of Iraq due to the U.S. military's use of depleted uranium weapons, as well as the lingering health impacts from the Vietnam War due to the U.S. military's use of chemical poisons there.
Ex-Japanese PM on How Fukushima Meltdown was Worse Than Chernobyl & Why He Now Opposes Nuclear Power
Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now! on the Pacifica Radio Network, has conducted an exclusive interview with former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan in his Tokyo offices. The nearly hour-long interview was aired today, on the third anniversary of the beginning of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe on 3/11/11. Goodman questions Kan on his decision, while still serving as Prime Minister, to completely change his position on nuclear power, calling for its abolition in Japan in the aftermath of Fukushima Daiichi. He describes the so-called "Nuclear Village" -- Japan's nuclear power industrial-governmental-academic complex -- as the single most powerful lobby in the country.
Kan points to Germany as a "carbon-free, nuclear-free" example to follow, and describes how his 2011 feed-in tariff policy has already led to widespread deployment of solar photovoltaic power across Japan. The interview also addresses the inextricable links between nuclear power and nuclear weapons, a connection about which Kan -- who participated as Prime Minister in annual Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing commemorations -- is very clear. Kan encourages the grassroots anti-nuclear activists of Japan, the U.S., and around the world to think globally, and act locally.
Dr. Judith Johnsrud, a geographer who dedicated more than 50 years of her life to the opposition of nuclear power in all its phases and forms, has died. Judy passed away peacefully after a long illness and surrounded by family in the early hours of March 9th. With Pennsylvania the epicenter of many proposed nuclear projects — some of which Judy and her allies helped to defeat and some, like Three Mile Island, which they could not — Judy was at the forefront of multiple anti-nuclear campaigns. Judy was a founding member of the Beyond Nuclear board. She helped create and lead the Environmental Coalition on Nuclear Power whose members, friends and colleagues she described as "surely high among the world's finest people." To those of us who knew and worked with Judy, she belongs firmly in that category.
Judy was dedicated, quietly outspoken and quintissentially modest. Her activism was often carried out without resources and on her own dime; often by driving for hours in her document-laden car that sometimes served as office and sleeping quarters. Undeterred, Judy reminded us to the end that we must rid the world of nuclear energy, that, as she said “in a rational world would never have been developed.”
In 2012, Judy was recognized by the Sierra Club, of which she was a longtime member, for her lifetime's work. In true Judy style, she graciously accepted the honor with the words “but I don’t deserve it.”
Judy's longtime partner, Leon Glicenstein, along with her family, have composed an obituary to Judy which you can read here.
Mike Ewall of Energy Justice, writes: "One of my biggest heroes just passed away today. You may never have known her, but we all owe her so much. Her long lifetime of activism stopped numerous and massive nuclear threats, outlined below.
Dr. Judy Johnsrud... you've taught me so much. Together, we helped stop a multi-state nuclear waste dump. Your teachings have carried through 20 years of my work and will continue to be taught for as long as I'm able to teach. I love you, Judy. You are forever in my heart.
As I write this, it's bringing back so many memories... of meetings and speeches and road trips, of helping her with her computer, of my being shredded by her cat, Nora, of her tireless coffee-enabled nights driving to meetings several states away (sometimes reading NRC documents while driving), and of her talking about her decades of struggles with "the boys" in the nuclear industrial-academic-regulatory complex.
Thank you to Leon for being by her side all of these years and for this beautiful writeup of her life."
David Hughes of Citizen Power writes: "We have lost an irreplaceable giant in the fight for safe energy."
From Judi Friedman, People's Action for Clean Energy: "Judy Johnsrud was a very rare human being because she was very beautiful outside and very beautiful inside. She combined gentleness with power. I was privileged to know her."
David Lochbaum, Edwin Lyman, Susan Q. Stranahan, and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) have published a book in time for the third anniversary of the beginning of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe. The book details the blow by blow unfolding of the disaster at Japan, and serves as a searing indictment of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's dereliction of its safety duty domestically, risking an American Fukushima.
See UCS's web post about the book's publication here. See UCS's press release here. See UCS's blog post here.
UCS's Director of News & Commentary, Elliott Negin posted a blog at HuffPost's Green site. LA Times Pulitzer Prize-winning business columnist Michael Hiltzik has pointed to Fukushima's lessons learned (his column includes a link to his earlier review of the book).
Lochbaum is the head of the UCS's Nuclear Safety Project, and also author of Nuclear Waste Disposal Crisis. Lyman is a senior scientist in the Global Security Program of UCS. Stranahan was the lead reporter of the Philadelphia Inquirer's Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the Three Mile Island accident and the author of Susquehanna: River of Dreams.