Lalita Ramdas | I have just read this deeply moving and passionate appeal written by the women of Fukushima, clearly calling the attention of the world, especially the people of Asia, and particularly our Prime Minister as he prepares to visit Japan later this week, and according to media reports, sign the India-Japan Nuclear Agreement.
Residents from Fukushima, along with Japanese civil society activists, would be visiting India this week to share their stories. The life stories – full of struggle and resilience – of more than 100,000 people who continue to live away from their home, while the accident in the crippled reactors is still unfolding, are a testimony to the fact that nuclear disasters are humanely insurmountable, even in countries that are technologically most advanced.
On August 9, 2011—66 years after the atomic bombing of Nagasaki but only about five months after the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant—Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue observed that, until Fukushima, many people had believed in the myth of safety at nuclear power plants. “But what about the more than 20,000 nuclear weapons in the world?” asked Taue. “Do we still believe that the world is safer thanks to nuclear deterrence? Do we still take it for granted that no nuclear weapons will ever be used again?”
More than 48 percent of some 375,000 young people—nearly 200,000 kids—tested by the Fukushima Medical University near the smoldering reactors now suffer from pre-cancerous thyroid abnormalities, primarily nodules and cysts. The rate is accelerating.
Fortnightly Nuclear Updates [March 1-15, 2014] compiled and summarised by Sonali Huria.