A-bomb survivors’ dark experiences must not be repeated for Fukushima crisis victims, Mainichi Japan, January 14, 2012:
Terumi Tanaka [...] was exposed to radiation from the atomic blast on Aug. 9, 1945, when he was enrolled at Nagasaki Junior High School. [...]
After graduation, Tanaka became a materials engineering researcher at Tohoku University and helped develop nuclear reactor materials. Many science and engineering students at the time were drawn to nuclear power and several of his classmates became experts in the field. “I didn’t want to be just victimized by nuclear energy. I wanted to utilize it positively,” he said in a speech to the Japan National Press Club last year. [...]
Tanaka and other members of Nihon Hidankyo [Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Suffers Organizations] wondered how lessons learned from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki should be used to deal with the Fukushima crisis. They visited the national government and the Fukushima Prefectural Government in late May 2011, 2 1/2 months after the meltdowns, and asked that residents near the nuclear plant be given disaster victim certificates and health management books, and undergo regular health checkups throughout their lives. [...]
No News is Good News
Tanaka had initially intended to hold a news conference after visiting the Fukushima Prefectural Government, but prefectural officials balked at the idea for fear that a visit by atomic bombing survivors might illicit widespread fear. In response, Tanaka and his companions abandoned the news conference idea. It brought home to him how difficult it is to join hands and share information with victims of the nuclear crisis.
Learning From the Past?
[T]he long dearth of information and assistance following the atomic bombing caused pain to those who should have been helped, and hid what had happened to them. The problems drag on still. Class action lawsuits brought by atomic bombing survivors demanding that their health problems be recognized as atomic-bomb related diseases were all only finally resolved last year, and a new distribution map of nuclear fallout-laden black rain was released recently. The entire picture of damage caused by the atomic bombings is far from being clarified.
Published: January 15th, 2012 at 4:57 pm ET