I spent this weekend in front of my computer, glued to the Global Conference for a Nuclear Power-Free World. It was one of the few rays of hope I’ve seen in the past ten months, probably the strongest. People in Japan have not given up. People are still working to end Nuclear Power in Japan and around the world.
In my day-to-day life, there are few who raise the topic of ending Nuclear Power, and that has led me to think that there was little hope of making a change in time. Now I know there are thousands all around this country who are taking action, networking, educating, and planning for the next step for a post-NP world.
Thank you to everyone who was part of this conference, the volunteers, the attendees, the speakers, the staff, the tireless translators.
Yokohama antinuclear conference draws thousands of activists, experts
YOKOHAMA — A two-day antinuclear conference kicked off Saturday in Yokohama with the aim of sharing lessons from the Fukushima crisis and fostering global momentum against atomic power.
|Atomic anger: Activists stage an antinuclear demonstration in Yokohama on Saturday, in support of the two-day Global Conference for a Nuclear Power-Free World. The conference, which drew activists from around the world, kicked off in the city the same day. YOSHIAKI MIURA|
“Nuclear power plants are all over the world. In order to deal with this issue, we must create a global network,” said Tatsuya Yoshioka, director of the nongovernmental organization Peace Boat, during the opening ceremony for the Global Conference for a Nuclear Power-Free World.
The conference drew thousands of participants to the Pacifico Yokohama convention center, including about 100 experts and activists from 30 countries and nearly 200 domestic groups.
Holding an event of this scale in Japan just 10 months after the Fukushima No. 1 plant meltdowns represents a significant meaning for the antinuclear movement, said Yoshioka, chairman of the event.
Germany’s Rebecca Harms, a member of the European Parliament, said the Fukushima crisis had a strong impact on Europe, pointing to Germany’s decision to close eight old reactors almost immediately after the crisis was triggered by the March 11 disasters.
She said Japan is now managing its electricity supply with much less dependence on nuclear power since only five of its 54 reactors are in operation.
She also said public opinion in Japan had changed and most oppose using atomic power in the future, bringing Japan’s opinion in line with Germany’s.
Japan does not need to go back to nuclear power, she said.
“Please, people of Japan, learn from the German experience.”
NISA to OK Oi’s reports
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency is set to approve reports submitted by Kansai Electric on stress tests carried out on two idled reactors at the Oi power plant in Fukui Prefecture, government sources said Saturday.
This will be the first time NISA will issue an assessment on reactor stress tests reports. The government introduced the stress tests in light of the Fukushima nuclear disaster and made them a precondition for restarting idled reactors.
But even if NISA endorses the reports, it remains uncertain if the plant’s idled reactors will be restarted immediately as other hurdles remain, including checks by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the sources said.
Kansai Electric Power Co. submitted stress tests reports for the Oi plant’s No. 3 and 4 reactors last year. The reports said nuclear fuel in the reactors’ cores would remain undamaged even in the event of an earthquake 1.8 times stronger than the maximum anticipated temblor in the area.
The reports also estimated that the cores could withstand an 11.4-meter tsunami — four times higher than the largest waves projected.
Antinuclear conference urges the need to phase out nuclear power
YOKOHAMA (Kyodo) — Politicians and civic activists from around the world gathered for a two-day antinuclear conference Saturday in Yokohama, urging the need to phase out nuclear power and shift to green energy by learning from nuclear disasters in Fukushima and around the world.
In the opening session, Yuri Tomitsuka, a 10-year-old boy who evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture to Yokohama said, “I want to ask politicians which is more important. Is it money or our lives? I don’t want to get ill. Nuclear plants are not necessary for children.”
A message saying, “I just only wish there were no nuclear plants, just no nuclear plants,” was cited by Tatsuya Yoshioka, representative of Peace Boat, one of the organizers of the Global Conference for a Nuclear Power Free World bringing together about 5,000 participants from more than 30 countries.
He said the message was written by a head of the Maeda district in the village of Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture, who killed himself right after the nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
“If his message can be delivered to the world, we can achieve our goal of phasing out nuclear power…and if we truly believe in this, we can build an international network,” Yoshioka said.
With some 100 guest speakers attending, the event is offering sessions and workshops to exchange views with living witnesses of nuclear disasters including Fukushima residents and people from Chernobyl and the Marshall Islands.
Based on the discussions, participants will propose a list of actions that should be taken by governments and citizens.
European Parliament member Rebecca Harms from Germany, said, “Japan is right now managing to run the very big cities with big industries,” though only several reactors are working in Japan out of 54 in the wake of the nuclear crisis. “Why and how should Japan go back on to a nuclear way?”
Harms, co-chair of the Greens/European Free Alliance Group in the parliament, explained Germany’s political decision to halt nuclear reactors, urging, “Please people of Japan, learn from German experience.”
Shuntaro Hida, a doctor from Hiroshima Prefecture, shared his experience of treating atomic bomb survivors and warned, “Considering the internal exposure that can pose a threat with even a small amount, we should halt nuclear reactors.”
Some discussions are also focusing on how to shift to renewable energy by taking examples from Canada and Denmark which actively promote green energy.
At the end of the conference Sunday, they are to declare the need for greater participation of citizens in energy policy, connecting with victims of radiation exposure and shifting the world to renewable energy.
(Mainichi Japan) January 15, 2012
Radioactive Apartment in Nihonmatsu City, Fukushima, Measuring 1.2 Microsievert/Hr Inside
It looks the glass badge worn by a student who lives in the apartment helped identify the “hot” concrete.
A kind of perverse way to find out about radiation contamination…
Fukushima TV News item and translation at:
For readers in Oregon, this comment left on the above article at the URL above:
risa bear said…
For what it’s worth:
I live near Eugene, Oregon. All week I have been getting readings on the SOEKS of .12 – .16 mcSv, inside and out. Over the last six months I’ve seen nothing higher than .28, averaged.
Today it began raining. Inside, for a baseline, I found the usual .12 mcSv 10 min. avg at 1 meter from the floor. Outside, bagged, I placed the gadget in the gutter:
.97, .88, 1.13, 1.28, .77, 1.40 (red zone), 1.17, 1.21 averaging 1.1+ I did not have the heart to remain out there longer.
Here is a badly focused attempt to show you the 1.40. Notice the red screen.
With shaking hands, I adjusted the camera and got this:
Back inside, I got .12 again. I cannot imagine what it would be like to live in an apartment with full-time readings comparable to these.
thank you for your efforts.