By Alberto Betancourt Posada
On August 6, during the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima, Yukio Yoshioka, leader of the Alliance of Hibakushas Organizations, demanded that Shinzo Abe stop the constitutional reforms that will authorize Japan to participate in military tasks abroad: it is unforgivable , he pointed out, violate the right of the victims to live in peace.
In a similar sense, the reactivation of the Sendai nuclear plant, means a mockery for the new Hibakushas, those 30 thousand people, settled near Fukushima, survivors of the radioactive leak that reached the coast of California and currently very worried about the restart. of nuclear plants.
The Fukushima accident was avoidable Recent studies on the accident at the Daichi and Daini plants in Fukushima show it could have been avoided, as it was the culmination of a long list of political and technological decisions, which assembled the infamous industrial accident step by step. The reactors installed in Japan and exported to other nations, by the Japanese companies Toshiba and Hitachi and the American companies General Electric and Westinghouse, had already shown severe problems before.
On July 16, 2006, a 6.1-degree earthquake struck the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant and caused some radiation leaks.
The company noticed the radioactivity leak at 12:50 p.m., but informed the public until 8:28 p.m. A subsequent expert report established that the authorities and companies in the Japanese nuclear industry had failed to comply with safety standards, and that the latter were insufficient.
Ashwin Kumar and V. Ramana state in "Nuclear Safety Lessons from Japanese Summer Earthquake" (The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists Dec / 06) that the telluric movement, in Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, was two and a half times greater, the maximum possible accident predicted by Tokio Electrical Power Company.
Had the recommendations been heeded since then, the subsequent Fukushima accident would have been less serious. The heroes slept on the ground. On March 11, 2011, television stations on all continents reported that approximately 30,000 Japanese should remain cloistered in their homes for several weeks due to the levels of radiation, in the air and in the water, present in your neighborhood. The new hibakushas described their harrowing experience through diaries posted on Facebook.
In the days after the accident, the TEPCO company offered high salaries to its workers to carry out suicide missions to extinguish the fire and reactivate the cooling system; others, it threatened to terminate their contract. According to Fukuda Kyuta, who scorned $ 5,000 a day for going to the plant, the company sent workers over fifty years old on kamikaze missions, in exchange for astronomical sums. The workers sent to Fukushima, worked long hours, ate and slept near the reactors, in areas where the radiation readers marked between 2 and 6 microsivierts, something like taking a dental X-ray, every hour, some slept on the ground and many of them did not have blankets.
Tadahiro Katsuta: reopening plants is practicing a dismal science For Tadahiro Katsuta, in the reopening of the Sendai nuclear power plant, the economic health of companies was prioritized over the safety and health of people (“Why was the Sendai nuclear power plant restarted? The Bulletin of Atomic Scientist 12 / August / 15). Kyushu Electric Companny, the company that operates the plant, Katsuta said, explored other technologies to produce electricity, for example thermal, but the costs doubled.
The president of the company insisted on reopening the plant, he tried everything to manipulate public opinion: he disguised employees as citizens and sent them to public hearings to “enhance nuclear energy”; sent false emails to a television station calling for reactivation. When his tricks were discovered, he had to resign.
The company has refused to receive residents of the plant. Benedict: Democracy is the kryptonite of nuclear tyranny For Kennette Benedict ("The Road not taken: Can Fukushima Put Us On a Path Toward Nuclear Transparency?" Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, March 26, 11) the industrial tragedy of Fukushima generates many Questions: How many nuclear reactors could withstand a 9-degree earthquake? Are nuclear companies prepared to face events of this magnitude, in the fields of industrial safety, occupational safety, information transparency and the payment of compensation? What risks do reactors pose to local communities? In (“The legacy of Hiroshima: Nuclear tyranny or democracy?”, The bulletin of atomic scientist, 09/08/2015), Benedict recalls that after Hiroshima the fear of the eventual dissemination of nuclear information and a climate of secrecy was created in the civil and military nuclear industry, this opacity affects to date scientific debate, democratic supervision and ethical reflection: information and public discussion are the kryptonite of nuclear tyranny .Shinzo Abe destabilizes Asia and puts the population of Japan at risk. The Oochan bears, egg-shaped toys, capable of standing up again and again, have become an emblem of the dignity of the old and the new hibakushas, determined - even after the tragedy - to continue life and rebuild life. hope.