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National Christian Council finds nuclear power incompatible with life and peace

church-&-radThe science in play is not fiction. Children are growing up forbidden to play outdoors, young women worry that no one will want to marry them, a mother tests her rice harvest to see if she can share it with her children, families are paying off loans on radioactive homes they will never use. These are the kind of stories heard every day at a parish radiation information centre in Aizu Wakamatsu, Japan.

The conference concluded that “there is no safe use of nuclear power, no safe level of exposure to radiation, and no compatibility between nuclear power, life and peace.”

flag-japanNuclear tragedy finds  a human face in Fukushima Insights, ON 19 DEC 2012 BY STEPHENW
The everyday effects of radiation borne by survivors of the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan add up today to an involuntary experiment with public health, community life and environmental affairs.
An ecumenical conference, called to listen to local residents, found that last year’s chain reaction of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear calamity has generated a “live” human tragedy, across a province, with no end in sight.
The Geiger counters that priests and parishioners pull out of their pockets like cell phones made the local anxieties and fears real for their visitors.
“I cannot tell my children that there will be something good if they live,” one mother told a Buddhist priest. “A middle-aged man committed suicide in the temporary housing. Tomorrow it might be me.” The priest, the Rev. Daiki Nakashita, told her story to the Inter-Religious Conference on Nuclear Issues organised by the National Christian Council in Japan in December 2012.
“The figure is surprising when we check the radiation around the house,” another woman told Nakashita. “My husband wants to have children, but I think we cannot raise children in Fukushima anymore.”
The science in play is not fiction. Children are growing up forbidden to play outdoors, young women worry that no one will want to marry them, a mother tests her rice harvest to see if she can share it with her children, families are paying off loans on radioactive homes they will never use. These are the kind of stories heard every day at a parish radiation information centre in Aizu Wakamatsu, Japan.
The centre is one of many signs that citizens are not receiving full and reliable information about risks to their health. They blame government and power company officials, starting with the haphazard evacuation plans that exposed many to radiation when the disaster began.
Tohoku HELP, an ecumenical project which includes the United Church of Christ in Japan, runs food radiation measurement centres in disaster-stricken communities. Besides testing food and farm produce, the project also measures radiation levels in breast milk and urine, a service not readily available to many residents. Counsellors and chaplains are available to assist the people who come in for testing.
“We cannot get correct information about exposure to radiation…but, if we say so, then we are the ones criticised by others who want to believe that Fukushima is safe,” one survivor said.
“The most serious issues are divorce, suicide, domestic violence and violence in general. Radiation damaged not only our bodies, but also the relationships in our families and communities,” said another survivor.
The conference concluded that “there is no safe use of nuclear power, no safe level of exposure to radiation, and no compatibility between nuclear power, life and peace.” Speakers noted that the official fumbling is reminiscent of other nuclear disasters, like Chernobyl, and that the health risks and the stigma suffered by survivors are reminders of Hiroshima. http://www.insights.uca.org.au/news/nuclear-tragedy-finds-a-human-face-in-fukushima

December 22, 2012 - Posted by | Fukushima 2012, Japan, Reference, social effects

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