From Hiroshima to Fukushima, An Ugly Journey

The tsunami of 2011 has caused the worst nuclear disaster in Japan's Fukushima and this can be the saddest tragedy the country suffered after 1945 when a single bomb struck Nagasaki. According to experts, the radiation readings at the Fukushima site have reached alarming levels. This disaster has triggered a serious debate about the safety of nuclear energy. This being the case, there is no wonder people shiver at the very thought of the devastation that can be caused by nuclear weapons.

In this context, survivors of the 1945 bombing are very actively campaigning against nuclear power. But, at the same time, there are allegations of a collusion between industries and governments. It is also alleged that governments are trying to cover up many things and are also engaged in a pattern of denial. These allegations are targeted against not only the government of Japan but other governments also.

Responding to the disaster at Fukushima, Sumiteru Taniguchi, aged 82, who is a hibakusha and the director of the Nagasaki A-Bomb Survivors Council, said, "Nuclear power and mankind cannot coexist. We survivors of the atomic bomb have said this all along. And yet, the use of nuclear power was camouflaged as 'peaceful' and continued to progress. You never know when there's going to be a natural disaster. You can never say that there will never be a nuclear accident." This response definitely represents the opinion of any hibakusha, as a survivor of the atomic destruction of Hiroshima or Nagasaki is called.

So, Fukushima has clearly exposed the safety myth surrounding the nuclear power. Nations need to change their energy policy on an urgent basis. At the same time, workers of the nuclear plants and people who are living close to these plants should be subjected to periodical health examinations.

These survivors of the devastating Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been complaining that though they have been demanding help from the government for treating their illnesses caused by exposure to radiation, they have not got any assistance. So, these survivors have genuine doubts if those who are affected by the Fukushima radiation will get any help from the government.

The observations of Nassrine Azimi, a senior adviser at a United Nations Institute must be considered seriously. "When it comes to nuclear issues-from atomic weapons to nuclear power-no two nations could be more irredeemably intertwined. After the atomic destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, despite dissenting voices of some of its own citizens, America drew mostly wrong conclusions as it plunged into nuclear expansion." A few experts also concur with her and allege that the purpose of the Faustian bargain was to blind the Americans and the people of other nations to the damages of radiation. According to these experts, even eminent journalists fell a prey to this campaign and embraced what was called the 'Dawn of the Atomic Age'. This campaign ultimately led to the "nuclear entrapment" into which America fell and this "entrapment" continues till this day.

Raman Kuppuswamy has been writing excellent and informative articles on many topics for the last many years. You may kindly visit to read his other articles on many other topics.


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