By Tony Henderson
On this the first anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster questions remain to be adequately and correctly answered on: is life in Japan back to normal? What lessons were learnt about the hugely funded nuclear industry? What do we really know about radiation and nuclear energy, what impacts do these have on our lives?
Pressenza Hong Kong, SAR, China, 3/11/12 This International Forum got off to a timely start at Hong Kong’s Polytechnic University with the slogan: “Let’s crack the nuclear labyrinth together!” The speakers assembled early on Saturday morning March 10, including an ex-Fukushima resident and unionist, nuclear experts from Canada and the US, two Taiwanese activists against nuclear power, and an industry commentator from Germany speaking on the state-of-nuclear-play in Germany.
The keynote address was given by Dr. Gordon Edwards, President, “Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility” who aptly titled his talk: “The Labyrinth of Challenges and Choices”. He gave a rundown on what is important to know about radiation and radioactivity and how the nuclear power industry is suffering under delusions, owing to self-deception.
After the break, Dr Kang Shih-hao, a representative of “Green Citizens’ Action Alliance”, Taiwan, spoke on “The lies and deception of Taiwan’s Nuclear-free Homeland Policy”, speaking about the power structure of technology decision-making in Taiwan.
Alongside Dr Kang was Fukushima resident and unionist Iwakura Miho, who gave a brief introduction to the Japanese anti-nuclear movement and how workers and unions have engaged in the movement, titled: “Nuclear workers in Japan”. Also, her personal experience of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, including how the Japanese government lies to the public.
After the press conference titled: “The Tragedy of Fukushima” where each panelist gave a brief introduction to their standpoint, Robert Gould, M.D., Physicians for Social Responsibility, gave a talk on global warming and the nuclear renaissance, and on how the health impacts of nuclear energy production have been hidden from the public.
Further, Prof. Achin Vanaik, recently retired as Professor of International Relations and Global Politics in the Political Science Department of Delhi University, introduced, via Skype, in some detail the anti-nuclear movement against Kudankulam Power Plant (located in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu and built with Russian collaboration that has run into trouble with activists and locals staging massive protests citing safety concerns in the wake of the Fukushima disaster) telling of the mass participation, hunger strike, and how the action spread through various Indian communities, with some reflections on the meaning of the anti-nuclear movement in Asia.
This reporter left after the video conference but the day continued with Lill Liu, resident of Japan, former journalist of China Times, writer on gender, culture and nuclear power who spoke on “Nuclear power in Japan - Taiwan - Mainland China - Hong Kong: a perilous belt in East Asian”. Finally, Wolfgang Pomrehn, German freelance journalist and author writing on energy and climate issues spoke on: “The nuclear endgame - alternatives and actions”.
Note: Related Activities in Hong Kong was a concert on 7th March titled: “HOWL - paintings and music”; March 9, a “Nuclear Concern Day”; and March 11, Hong Kong Alliance Against Nukes: Anti-Nuclear Rally and March and Visual and Performance Art and Music.
Organisers: Globalisation Monitor, C in C Learning Centre, Siu Lek Yuen-Yuen Chau Kok Environment Concern Group, World Student Christian Federation (Asia-Pacific), in cooperation with: the Department of Applied Social Sciences Centre for Social Policy Studies, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and Hong Kong Alliance Against Nukes