By Michael Mariotte

Fukushima, April 2011

Some who read yesterday’s post from Temporary Housing near Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture are probably still unhappy with me! The idea that small reductions in radiation exposure are any kind of “solution” flies in the face of what we know: there is no safe dose of radiation. We say: “No cure, only prevention!”

The women that I met on my first day here have no choice. Elders (60+), many have moved 4 or 5 times since they were forced to leave their homes in March 2011; some report when they reached the first Evacuation Center that their contamination levels were so high they pegged the monitors. Now most of their husbands are gone, their children have jobs in the big cities now, they are alone. For one reason or another, they need the support they get by staying where they are. Where they live now is unrestricted but still radioactive to varying degrees, well above where I live. When the evacuation order is lifted, most will have no choice but to return to houses that while “reduced” in radioactivity are not clean.

Sitting with them I could only hope to teach them things that would make them question allowing their grandchildren to play in the dirt when they, someday, come visit their homes…and even here, outside the zone. We stressed that the dirt and dust are not safe. Small steps.

The big picture is this: these elders, with few resources of their own, are among those most impacted by Tepco’s meltdowns. 3/11 unleashed forces that hit those who need the greatest support the hardest. Once again we must recommit ourselves: no more radiation refugees!

Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide (TMI)!
No More Chernobyls!

What do we “chant” for Fukushima? There has been such a focus in our community on climate and nukes in these same years…I am sure there is a slogan about Fukushima, why does one escape me? Maybe I can’t remember it because it really offers not much help or hope to these particular women.

I am saying “Atomic destruction began, and must end, here. In Japan.”

Aileen Mioko Smith of Green Action speaks.

Japan is blessed with advocacy and justice organizations and international groups have arms here—including Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth. NIRS has close ties with the grassroots-oriented Green Action, but they/we are up against an enormous cultural, social, political, legal wall of denial. Appropriately, the resources of these groups are focused on the only place there is hope: keeping the other nukes in Japan off-line. All the other reactors in Japan have been off-line since 2011 until one site came on-line at the end of 2015, and a rocky re-start is happening now at Takahama. Stopping re-start is the very best focus they can have. Prevention is the Cure!

But the victims of Fukushima Daiichi are being ground to a fine pulp as the Japanese national Nuclear Regulatory Agency, the US NRC, the international “nuclear village” and the local government all proclaim:) “Fukushima …read more

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