Friday, August 05, 2011

66 years later

Today is the 66th anniversary of the morning the Americans dropped the bomb on Japan. As I wrote that line, I realized how ingrained it is to use the passive voice when talking about that event. "The bomb was dropped on Hiroshima."

This year the reminders of the past have a new significance. Anti-nuclear activists are using the powerful emotions of this day to rally in Hiroshima, as well as Tokyo against nuclear power in Japan. The movement has become a lot stronger than it was a few months ago, directly after the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown in Fukushima. Before that, nuclear power was hardly protested against at all. I listened in on a conversation between some advocates who approached us at a "Save Shizuoka"rally. The Hamaoka reactors are just almost as old and built quite similarly to the Fukushima plants. Also, they are a similar proximity to the coastline, and finally, local residents had been protesting it's existence due to some malfunctions and safety readings around the plant. I listened to an activist explain to Chu that nobody would take their flyers while trying to talk about dangers, but now, things have changed and people approach him to learn more about it.

Many people have begun to reconsider their opinions on whether nuclear power is needed, and if so to what degree, cost, consequence.

Even the Prime Minister, Kan, talked about the nuclear power today here.

I'll admit that I've jumped on the same bandwagon that many others did after the Fukushima meltdown. Part of the reason for that was my own proximity to the plants (a.k.a. same country, coastline). However, this does not compare to what life was like for those who lived through the atomic bombings during the final days of World War 2. After visiting Hiroshima, and the peace museum, where a collection of stories and relics from the attack are on display, you can get an idea of the aftereffects of our decisions to use the highly dangerous materials we've invented to harm ourselves and our environment.

The below link is a blurb I wrote after visiting the Peace Museum in 2007.

A visit to Hiroshima Post

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