原発

Is Tanuki party the only one calling for immediate end to nuclear power?

rivals_tanuki_campaignposte

タヌキ党は原発再稼働反対を求めます。中野の小学校の前で。

Another Tanuki Party campaign poster spotted in front of a Nakano elementary school.

 

Colorful protests continue against pro-nuke government

毎週金曜日、東京で再稼働反対のデモがあります。このフィルムの写真は新宿の小さなデモでとりました。コズプレも音楽も、いろいろな人たちが居て楽しいです。この抗議は原発の問題がよい方向に変わるのではないかと思わせてくれます。

There are protests in front of the Prime Minister’s Residence every Friday in favor of ending nuclear power. The protests have been the largest and most sustained since the 1960s. The national government and largest corporations are eager to re-start the plants that were shut down after the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

I often join a Koenji group’s demonstrations. These photos are from a smaller march. I like the range of people, the costumes, music, and sense of fun and hope. These are all film photos.

Commemorating Japan suspending nuclear power on May 6, 2012

日本の原発の全休止が実行されて、5月6日に高円寺でパレードがありました。演説、抗議のプラカード、散歩、音楽、そしてコズプレがありました。あいにく、強い嵐が来て、雹が降っていました。それでも、幸せな会合でした。

The day after Japan suspended operations at the last nuclear plant, there was a celebration in Koenji that involved speeches, protest signs, marching, music, and fun costumes. Unfortunately, as soon as the march began, there was incredible hail and wind. Nonetheless, it was a happy parade throughout Koenji.

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3.11 Tokyo Big March against nukes

日曜日に3.11東京大行進の原発を止めるデモにほかにだれか参加しますか。14:00に日比谷公園から始まります。銀座と有楽町を歩いて、国会議事堂の前で、ヒューマンチェーンを作ります。

Who’s going to Sunday’s 3.11 Tokyo Big March against nukes? It starts at 2 pm in Hibiya Park, with a silent prayer at 2.46 pm, and a march starting at 3 pm through Ginza and Yurakucho. By 5 pm, there will be a human chain around the Diet Building. I am looking to find hope on a grim anniversary. Info in English and Japanese.

“It was always a lie,” an anti-nuclear protest song by Kazuyoshi Saito

斉藤和義 (@kazuyoshi_saitoの『ずっとウソだった』という歌は反原発への感情を表しています。

Kazuyoshi Saito (斉藤和義) turned his commercial song for Shiseido cosmetics, a love ballad “I always liked you,”  into an anti-nuclear song, “It was always a lie” (ずっとウソだった). I like the simplicity of the web video mixed with his scathing protest message.

Decades of propaganda convinced many Japanese that nuclear power was safe. There were even special programs aimed at persuading young mothers that it was OK to live near a nuclear plant. Recent street protests in Tokyo and online media challenge a decades-old consensus between corporations, governments, and university researchers.

I am moved by the mix of outrage and rebellion.

『ずっとウソだった』

この国を歩けば、原発が54基
教科書もCMも言ってたよ、安全です。

俺たちを騙して、言い訳は「想定外」
懐かしいあの空、くすぐったい黒い雨。

ずっとウソだったんだぜ
やっぱ、ばれてしまったな
ホント、ウソだったんだぜ
原子力は安全です。

ずっとウソだったんだぜ
ほうれん草食いてえな
ホント、ウソだったんだぜ
気づいてたろ、この事態。

風に舞う放射能はもう止められない

何人が被曝すれば気がついてくれるの?
この国の政府。

この街を離れて、うまい水見つけたかい?

教えてよ!
やっぱいいや…

もうどこも逃げ場はない。

ずっとクソだったんだぜ
東電も、北電も、中電も、九電も
もう夢ばかり見てないけど、

ずっと、クソだったんだぜ

それでも続ける気だ

ホント、クソだったんだぜ

何かがしたいこの気持ち

ずっと、ウソだったんだぜ

ホント、クソだったんだぜ

I found the lyrics translated into English online, but I’ll try to improve the translation later:

“You have been telling a lie”

When we walk around this country,
we can find 54 Nuke power plants

My text book and CM always told me,
“It’s SAFE”

You have been telling a lie,
then your excuse is just “UNEXPECTED”
I remember the clear sky,
but now, it turns black rain

You’ve been telling a lie,
it was exposed after all, I know
Yeah, it was a lie, “Nuke is completely safe”
You’ve been telling a lie,
I just wanna eat such a delicious spinach once again.

Yeah, it was a lie,
You should have noticed this ball game

We can’t stop the contaminated wind anymore
Do you accept if you find it about how many people would be exposed by the radiation?
How do you think? I’m asking you, Jap Gov.

When you leave this town,
Coudl you find delicious water?
Tell me, whatever, there’s no way to hide

They are all suck, Tepco, Hepco, Chuden and Kanden
We never dream a dream anymore
But they are all suck
They still keep going
They are truely suck
I wanna take action, how could I handle this feeling?

They are telling a lie….
We are all suck….

Anti-nuke protest in Koenji this Sunday

日曜日の「原発やめるデモ」に行きます。高円寺なので、もちろんライブの音楽があります!

There is going to be an anti-nuke demo in Koenji this Saturday Sunday with live music, activists, and ways to help Koenji’s sister city Minami Souma, which is within the Fukushima 30 km evacuation zone. The concert is from 3 to 5 pm at the Koenji Chuo Park. At 5 pm it will head to Koenji Kitaguchi Hiroba. It’s being called a Choukyodai Demo (Super Huge Demo or 超巨大).

There’s information in English about Saturday’s demo, and the organizer Matsumoto Hajime of the political art collective Amateur Revolt (Shirouto no Ran or 素人の乱). And there’s more information about 4.10 原発やめるデモ in Japanese.

Inside a Japanese nuclear power plant

原発についてたくさん勉強になりましたけれども、毎日の生活とエネルギーの本当のコストの問題が残っています。

A fascinating short video from IDG News Service’s @martyn_williams shows the inside of a functioning nuclear power plant in Japan. It’s Kashiwazaki Kariwa, the world’s largest nuclear plant, on the Japan Sea, also known as the East Sea of Korea.

In the past two weeks, we have all learned many details about nuclear power generation: from containment vessels to doughnut-shaped torus, steam venting, cooling pools, basement pumps and generators, and dangers from radioactive iodine and cesium. While the Daichi survived the earthquake, several days without electricity led to pressure build-up, exposed fuel rods, explosions, and radioactive releases.

Most Japanese school children are given tours of nuclear facilities to encourage familiarization and acceptance. Watching the video above, I am struck by the incongruity of these images of rational organization with the recent realization that a lack of power can quickly turn these engineering marvels into a grave threat to human existence.

It is interesting that the video above, and I am certain the hundreds of school tours, fail to mention that the reactors serve a second and equally dangerous function: they are the storage locations for spent nuclear rods. While the active rods have control rods and secured cases, the spent rods seem to be in less protected parts of the reactors.

The explosions at the Daichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima have literally blown the lid off a scary reality that is normally kept far from conscious thinking. Everyone knows that nuclear waste and the long-term dangers it poses are the by-product of this “clean,” low carbon energy. What is less known is that these spent rods remain near population centers and alongside ocean coasts that routinely experience tsunamis and earthquakes. They remain hidden from view within the plants because the rods are difficult to transport safely and few communities would welcome them.

I expect that as the crisis becomes less acute, there will be more attention to the questions of how much energy we need, how to balance what is possible with what is prudent, and how to make visible the true costs of energy production, including the wars used to “secure” petroleum from hostile regions, and the potential contamination of people and land from nuclear power and waste.

In the coming weeks, this blog will focus on recovery from the nuclear crisis, including increased city bicycling, reduced power consumption, and other positive developments. I will also show signs of Tokyo’s spring, and other evidence that the natural world continues in spite of human activity.