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Japan

Until the Fukushima accident, Japan had 55 operating nuclear reactors as well as enrichment and reprocessing plants which had suffered a series of deadly accidents at its nuclear facilities resulting in the deaths of workers and releases of radioactivity into the environment and surrounding communities. Since the Fukushima disaster, there is growing opposition against re-opening those reactors closed for maintenance.

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Thursday
Apr282016

Hibakuaha's International Signature Campaign Launched. Please Support It

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Friends,

                Yesterday Peace & Planet Japanese member organizations Nihon Hidankyo, Gensuikyo and Peace Boat launched an international petition campaign urging support for the Hibakuksha’s call for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.

                Please find the announcement and a link to the petition below. Better yet, please print out the petition, sign and circulate it.

                For a nuclear weapons-free, peaceful, just and sustainable world,

                Joseph [Gerson, Peace & Planet]
 
 

A starting joint action of the international signature campaign in support of the Appeal of the Hibakusha (A-bomb survivors of Hiroshima & Nagasaki) for the elimination of nuclear weapons was carried out at downtown Shibuya, Tokyo on April 27, 2016.

With a banner reading “Hibakusha Earnestly Desire Elimination of Nuclear Weapons” hanging high, Terumi Tanaka, secretary general of Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo), called on passers-by to support the petition for the abolition of nuclear weapons.  He said, “I want hundreds of millions of people in the world to support the petition”.  Many Hibakusha took part in the action from Tokyo and nearby prefectures, and insisted that nuclear weapons must never be used again, speaking of their A-bomb experiences. Many peace organizations and individuals, which support the Appeal of the Hibakusha, also joined the street action and called for the start of negotiations on a treaty to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons.  They include Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo), Japan Peace Committee, Peace Boat, Religions for Peace Japan, etc.

The Hibakusha and participants were so much encouraged to get support for the petition from young people, high school students, housewives and tourists from USA, UK, France and China.  A total of 277 signatures were collected in the 45-minute action.

Linked here, please find the Appeal of the Hibakusha and petition form

The Appeal of the Hibakusha was announced in April, 2016 in Tokyo, and this signature campaign was proposed and initiated by the Hibakusha and Nihon Hidankyo.  Japanese peace organizations and individuals are determined to jointly support and develop this campaign in Japan and the rest of the world.

Please send us your support message to the petition and spread this signature campaign in your country.

Sincerely,
Yayoi Tsuchida
Gensuikyo Assistant general secretary
Sunday
Mar202016

Bradford in BAS: When the unthinkable is deemed impossible: Reflecting on Fukushima

Peter A. Bradford, adjunct professor, Vermont Law School, and former Nuclear Regulatory Commissioner, Maine Public Utility Commission Chairman, and former New York State Public Utility Commission Chair, as well as Union of Concerned Scientists board member, has written a column in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (BAS) that begins:

Nuclear power requires obedience, as well as massive subsidy and the suppression of competition from other forms of low-carbon energy. These are not attractive platform planks in market-oriented democracies, so subterfuge in the service of political clout is also needed.

Abhorrent prerequisites need not lead to political defeat these days. Raise enough money. Scare enough people. Demonize and hamstring enough alternatives. Hornswoggle enough regulators. Procure celebrity endorsements. Rhapsodize new designs transcending today’s shortcomings. Just don’t make fools of your backers, or befoul their living rooms.

That is where Fukushima fits in. A few times in the six-decade history of nuclear power, some event once deemed impossible has taken place—shifting the ground under politicians and investors and forcing the abandonment of plants well along or already built. [More.]

Sunday
Mar132016

FIVE YEARS AFTER: Fukushima towns co-hosting nuclear plant frozen in time

As reported by Asahi Shimbun, the host towns -- Okuma and Futaba -- of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant -- now radioactive ruins -- are ghost towns, five years after the catastrophe began. A clock in an abandoned convenience store stopped the moment the 9.0 earthquake struck on 3/11/11, not unlike the clocks and wrist watches that stopped when the atomic bomb struck Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945. Ordinary lives suspended -- such as laundry hanging on the line, is very similar to the ghostly, iconic images from the Chernobyl Dead Zone. Both homes and businesses are just like they were left (only, suffering the effects of the elements) by their former occupants, who had to flee immediately to escape the spreading, hazardous radioactivity.

Sunday
Mar132016

FIVE YEARS AFTER: Government reluctant to specify SDF role in nuclear crisis

As reported by Asahi Shimbun, even five years after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe began, it is still unclear what role Japan's Self Defense Forces (SDF), as well as firefighters and police, are to play in future nuclear power disasters. More.

Friday
Mar112016

Thom Hartmann's "Conversations with Great Minds," featuring Beyond Nuclear

Thom Hartmann, The Big PictureThom Hartmann (photo, left) hosted Beyond Nuclear's Reactor Oversight Project Director, Paul Gunter, and Radioactive Waste Watchdog, Kevin Kamps, for an installment of "Conversations with Great Minds" on his "The Big Picture" television program. (Their interview goes from the 30-minute mark till the end of the program.) They discussed the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, five years on, in light of the bigger picture regarding nuclear power, across the U.S. and around the world.

(Clarifications and corrections: It is reported that there are now 750,000 tons, or more than 200 million gallons, of highly radioactive waste water stored at Fukushima Daiichi. Also, while the Japanese government's "permissible" level of radioactive cesium contamination in solid food was 500 Bq/kg for a short time after the Fukushima catastrophe began, it was then lowered, due to public pressure, to 100 Bq/kg several years ago. The U.S. standard, by way of comparison, is 1,200 Bq/kg -- twelve times weaker than Japan's, one of the weakest/worst such standards in the world. Canada's runs a close second, at 1,000 Bq/kg.)