As the heartbreaking stories of victims and evacuees surface, the SAGE Alliance is coordinating a three-day series of events to honor the people and acknowledge the horrific Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear facility explosion that began on March 11, 2011. Citizens are determined to make sure a similar disaster does not happen in New England.
Last year, hundreds of residents participated in a mock evacuation from Vermont Yankee, to honor the Fukushima evacuees. This year, we are taking to our own town greens, farmers markets, and street corners to say: “We are the voices of Fukushima. Fukushima's ghost
towns could be our ghost towns.” Some will adopt a Fukushima sister city for a day and share the evacuation stories that are being suppressed. Putney, Brattleboro, VT, Hanover, NH, Wendall, Amhest and Greenfield, MA are each adopting a different town in Fukushima’s exclusion zone.
Brattleboro, five miles from Vermont Yankee, is adopting the town of Namie, Japan in a vigil at Pliny Park from 11am-1pm on Saturday, March 9. Like Brattleboro, Namie is five miles northwest of a 40 year old GE BWR reactor. The 22,000 residents of Namie have relocated four to seven times since March 11, 2011. Namie is a now ghost town and may never be resettled again.
“After the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, winds blew radioactive contamination directly towards Namie (town 5 miles north of the Fukushima reactors) for three days, exposing its citizens to high levels of radiation. No one was warned.” [Greenpeace]. “… Namie mayor Baba had to organize the evacuation himself, and no one warned him or his citizens that their
evacuation route would prove identical to the direction the radioactive cloud would take as it spread. The citizens of Namie fled — and the radiation followed. For four days in March, they found themselves precisely at the spot where the most radioactive fallout landed. Namie’s residents now live scattered across 44 of Japan’s 47 prefectures. ” [Speigel].
Japan's Diet, the equivalent of our Congress, concluded that the nuclear disaster was a man made disaster, not the result of the tsunami or earthquake. In a 650 page independently researched report, they said that the government and TEPCO, the owner of the reactors, had known since 2008 that a 15 meter tsunami could occur and knock out all back up power to the reactors, but decided to take the risk and leave the defenses at the existing 6 meters because it was too expensive to invest in new defenses to protect the reactors from 15 meter waves.
The three day series of events is being coordinated by the SAGE Alliance, a collective of citizen groups organizing to close Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee through nonviolent direct action.