Reporter at Fukushima Daiichi: Reactors seemed terribly threatened by the slightest movement or upheaval of heaven and of earth

Published: May 19th, 2012 at 11:29 pm ET
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Fukushima Still Grapples With Nuclear Stress
The Jakarta Globe
Nassirine Azmi
May 19, 2012

[...] In Iwaki City, 50 kilometers south of the plant, I listened to young mothers explain how they were running, with help from the municipality, a community center to daily measure radiation in school lunches.

But when one of them, a mother of five, was asked if they also trained their kids to be on the alert for ambient radiation spikes, her brave facade almost crumbled. She said it was not for kids to be constantly tormented about the dangers of radiation — that this was the responsibility of adults. No parents, she said mournfully, like to see their children turn neurotic about every particle of air, soil, water or food around them.

On our last day in Fukushima, Akiko-san, the young architect seconded from Hiroshima City, took us to pray on the shores of Minamisoma. The city of 75,000, badly hit by the tsunami, is just 25 kilometers north of the crippled plant. Later, as we drove toward the security barriers, I was reminded, approaching the reactors, of the wounded, lying dragons in Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea Quartet — the slightest movement or upheaval, of heaven and of earth, seemed terribly threatening around them. [...]

Published: May 19th, 2012 at 11:29 pm ET
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