Series 6

Series 6
Driving the Ecosystem towards Malfunction:
Emergency Evacuation for Pregnant Women and Children Greed

Taeko Kansha
Bukkyo (Buddhist) Times
July 14, 2011

Taeko Kansha is the temple wife of Ryukoku-ji, a Soto Zen temple in Fukushima. Born in 1946 in Fukushima prefecture, she is the author of “It’s still not too late – the longest letter I have ever written”, published by Jiyusha.

The incident at the Fukushima #1 Nuclear Reactor was something, contrary to what the authorities said, actually “within expectation”. Up to this moment, the electric companies and the nation completely disregarded and turned a deaf ear to warnings pointing out such a scenario.

25 years earlier, when the Chernobyl nuclear incident occurred in the former Soviet Union, the radiation emitted from an explosion and fire at a reactor crossed national borders and even beyond Europe to include all of the northern hemisphere. Food in every country, even beyond the former Soviet Union, was contaminated, and every country was forced to develop measures to deal with the situation. Citizens were not able to get daily food that had not been contaminated by the widespread radiation. Babies, unborn fetuses, and children who had been exposed to internal radiation came down with leukemia and thyroid cancer some years later, and one after another, the lives of the young were deprived. The 135,000 citizens who lived within a 30-kilometer radius of the reactor were forced to evacuate, and still now, no one can live in this area. In Fukushima, there is a village named Aka-uki, also known as Nami-e Machi, where radiation was detected that was three times the amount of Chernobyl’s boundary of forced evacuation.

I was shocked when I heard a talk on the Chernobyl incident in 1986, so I began to read books about related issues. The more I searched, the more I saw a lack of logical consistency, and I began to freeze up in fear. In general, we are not informed about these facts and reality. The situation is one of being inundated by a steady stream of nothing but one-sided “myths of safety and necessity”. In this way, I wrote a letter out of desperation called, “It’s still not too late – the longest letter I have ever written”, which was published by Jiyusha Books. By word of mouth, I received a lot of sympathy from people who had read it, and unbelievably, it sold 500,000 copies through wide circulation. Many of the readers were mothers who had children.

The reason I think the popular protests today say we “don’t need” nuclear power or that “it shouldn’t exist” is because it is inimical to life. Radiation and life force cannot co-exist. Local ecosystems malfunction, and life force collapses. We have inherited a continuous line of life force of 3.6 billion years. This life force is passed through our genes in cells one by one, which are even up to today still evolving. However, radiation damages and alters these genes and blots out life force, which collapses before long. This radiation coming from nuclear power generation has been created in massive amounts, and humans cannot handle by hand the eradication of this poison. In this world of so much life force, humans are given life and sustained. This is not a concept but a reality. In this way, we must have the vow that human existence should be above politics, economics, and culture. We cannot mistake the means of human economic activity for the end of human safety.

Nuclear power is first generated by the process of the fission of uranium within a reactor. An intense heat is created that boils water and the ensuing steam turns a turbine that creates electricity. In short, water is brought to a boil through a nuclear reaction, but natural gas, coal, and oil can accomplish the same goal. The need for uranium surely involves radioactive materials. This requires complicated techniques that involve “stopping a fission process”, “cooling a reactor core”, and “confining the radiation”. The accompanying facilities are hugely complicated. This nuclear process and its facilities end up costing an immeasurable amount of money.

If we are to overcome the incident that happened this time, we must deal with the radiation that has been scattered over a wide area and the contamination of air, water, land, humans, animals, and vegetables. We have been completely robbed of our lifestyles. After the incident, the restoring of high quality food standards is ongoing, and there is special concern that radioactive poisoned victims among children will appear. Have we come to an awareness that this country is experiencing the karmic retribution of nuclear radiation? I think that at least pregnant women and children must be evacuated at once from these areas.

Simply, in order to bring water to a boil, we have used a fuel that emits deadly poisonous radioactive materials. We must face the warning of this preposterous danger. It is too late to return to the way it was before. It makes me fearful to think about near future.

In this method of generating electricity, which in its complexity goes beyond being dangerous, 2/3 of the heat energy becomes thermal effluent and is futily dumped into the ocean. Within this thermal effluent, there are chemical substances and radioactivity. This time it has gradually become clear that the nuclear power industry is made up of politicians, bureaucrats, big business, the electrical power companies, and scholars with their nest of vested interests. The truly disappointing part is that the mass media has been co-opted into this agenda to carry out a role. Most people still do not know the serious truth of nuclear power. People don’t realize how ignorant they are.

What is worse than this is what nuclear power has created: a massively high level of radioactive waste that is coming in contact with our human environment and that we will have to continue to deal with for the next one million years, as reported by the U.S. government in February of 2009. In this time period, there will be certainly large earthquakes and other disasters. How in the world will anyone alive today take responsibility for this? Isn’t this a crime committed on the next generations? Shall we allow a method of generating electricity that requires in exchange the lives of others and threatens life force?

I’d like to ask something of all the readers. As religious persons, should we tolerate the existence of “nuclear powered electricity” that is this dangerous? From various types of faith standpoints, how can we take hold of this present situation? Please let me hear your voice.

Translated by Jonathan Watts


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