By Michael Mariotte

A Japanese court this week ordered the shutdown of two reactors at Takahama, leaving Japan with only two reactors (at Sendai) currently operating five years after the onset of the Fukushima disaster.

“All my life I have tried to find the truth, and make it beautiful.” – Sting

It never ceases to amaze me how many wonderful people I meet in this work. Every stop on this tour is populated by exceptional hearts and minds. It reminds me of a woman I met during the years working to stop the US Department of Energy from selectively targeting Native Lands for nuclear waste. (Okay; the 1990’s round of that!) We were at an event at the Mole Lake Indian Reservation in Wisconsin. She was from the Western Shoshone Nation, home of the proposed Yucca Mountain Dump. She said she was “new” to nuclear issues. Welcoming her, I said, “this is a grim topic, but you will meet wonderful people who care about nuclear waste.”

She told me that the Shoshone People know this; she said, “It is a Law of the Universe.” What?!? She explained that uranium in the ground is neutral, but when people dig it up it becomes more and more negative. Inside a reactor uranium becomes the most negative thing on the planet. Shoshones know that the Universe IS in balance (in contrast to Judeo/Christian folks who think it “should” be). Thus, it is a Law that the most positive people drop what they are doing and pay attention to the most negative thing (nuclear energy/weapons).

This response from positive people of great integrity is the first, initial step; she explained there would be many more steps before nuclear fuel/waste is finally balanced.

Three of the dedicated activists working in Japan and helping with this tour. From left to right, Steve Leeper, Peace Culture Village and tour organizer; Naoko Koizumi brilliant translator (my “bridge”); and Tamiko Nishijima of Peace Platform, our glue.

Here in this land of Fission Products (the contamination is at varying levels well beyond Fukushima Prefecture, see, Arnie will be sharing more news in coming months from samples he has shipped home), I am meeting these many, many positive people.
Five years in, some are tired. Others are just beginning to realize that the Tepco disaster is not over. I think there is real potential for organizers now and Japan is blessed with some outstanding activists and service organizations. The focus for Green Action and other NGO allies is to stop the re-start of the reactors that have been on “atomic holiday” since March 2011.

NEWS! Since I began this Diary edition, my e-mail inbox tells me that a court has just issued the decision that Kansai Electric must reverse and take two Takahama nuclear reactors off-line. One unit had been lurching towards full operation after five years of no fission. It is a huge win for Green Action and all its allies that have been working to keep Japan fission-free! The ruling states that …read more

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