Thousands march as Japan switches off last nuclear reactor

Thousands of Japanese marched to celebrate the switching off of the last of their nation's 50 nuclear reactors Saturday, waving banners shaped as giant fish that have become a potent anti-nuclear symbol.

Japan was without electricity from nuclear power for the first time in four decades when the reactor at Tomari nuclear plant on the northern island of Hokkaido went offline for mandatory routine maintenance.

"Today is a historic day," Masashi Ishikawa shouted to a crowd gathered at a Tokyo park, some holding traditional "koinobori" carp-shaped banners for Children's Day that have become a symbol of the anti-nuclear movement.

The activists said it is fitting that the day Japan stopped nuclear power coincides with Children's Day because of their concerns about protecting children from radiation, which Fukushima Dai-ichi is still spewing into the air and water.

Whether Japan will suffer a sharp power crunch is still unclear.

Electricity shortages are expected only at peak periods, such as the middle of the day in hot weather, and critics of nuclear power say proponents are exaggerating the consequences to win public approval to restart reactors. Associated Press


Organizations, please sign this!!

Japan is nuclear-free today but could still be devastated by a radiological accident that would dwarf Chernobyl if Unit 4 collapses and the fuel catches fire. Organizations around the world are urged to sign on to this letter to the UN's Ban-Ki Moon and Japan prime minister Noda to get international help. TEPCO is looking at as much as a 10-year plan to shore up Unit 4. But an earthquake tomorrow could topple it. It's a preventable disaster but it could take the international community to prevent it.


Greenpeace "smoke bombs" French reactor

A Greenpeace paraglider dropped a smoke bomb onto the Bugey French nuclear reactor to highlight a potentially catastrophic lack of security around the power station, reports The Daily Mail. Two members of the environmental group were arrested following the stunt at the Bugey plant in southeastern France which came four days before France's presidential election runoff. To demonstrate the plant's vulnerability to terror attacks, the pilot threw a red-smoke flare onto the roof of the reactor building before landing nearby.


Were you outraged??

We’re outraged. And we expect you were, too. On April 23, 2012, the Washington Post editorial board writers callously dismissed the Fukushima nuclear disaster as “non-catastrophic.”

The Post advocated the continued use of nuclear energy and dismissed Germany's green revolution as an "anti-nuclear frenzy," while omitting inconvenient deal-breakers such as cost, waste, safety, health risks and human rights. The paper taunted Germany and Japan - and the anti-nuclear movement - for looking to renewables but misrepresented Germany’s successes. And they utterly ignored those who have already paid the price for the nuclear fuel chain, like indigenous uranium miners, and its newest victims, the children of Japan whose future has been stolen. You can review the original editorial here. 

Tell the Washington Post what you think!  We're fighing back. Please forward our alert and reference our longer rebuttal document. Write to the editorial board at The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, DC 20071-0001. Or contact the editorial page editor, Fred Hiatt at or 202-334-7281. You can also contact the Ombudsman, Patrick Pexton, at


Dennis Kucinich decries the folly of nuclear "bet-the-farm" loan guarantees