I. How the illusion of "peaceful use of nuclear power" was promoted
Peace movements acting as engine of promotion
Today, on the day which marks the first day of the nuclear attack on human history (unfortunately, there is a 'second' which is approaching in three days). I must highlight the role of peace movements in promoting the "peaceful use of nuclear energy."
In order to 'reject' the military use of nuclear power, 'relatively undermine' the value of the military use of nuclear power, and to 'promote' the notion of 'peaceful use of nuclear power,' peace movements in the world in effect became the foremost promoter of nuclear power.
Peace movements, as exemplified by movements such as the WFM (World Federalist Movement) promoted the use of nuclear power as a part of their "anti-nuclear" campaign. They strongly believed the promotion of peaceful use will undervalue its military use.
This belief system was further strengthened by the establishment of the NPT regime, which justified the spread of peaceful use of nuclear power as an effective deterrent against nuclear weapons proliferation.
It is is uncertain whether the promotion of peaceful use of nuclear power was driven by the vested interests of the nuclear industry, or whether international agencies such IAEA and international regimes such as NPT in fact served as an agent to protect these interests. What is certain, regardless of whether it is interest-driven, is that peaceful movements such as WFM were led into playing the role of a "nuclear power promoter" in a global scale.
Marginalization of anti-nuclear movements
While peace movements such as WFM steered itself in the direction of promoting nuclear power, the traditional anti-nuclear movements as exemplified by Gensuikin or Japan Congress Against A- and H- Bombs (Japanese only), maintained their opposition against both military and peaceful use of nuclear power. However, their adamant position often fell prey to the promoters of nuclear power in their political games.
Under the three non-nuclear principles the peaceful use of nuclear power was an exception permitted by and acknowledged by the state. Opposing nuclear power as a whole regarding peaceful use of nuclear power in the same light as its military use was sidestepped to be regarded as "anti-non-nuclear". As a result anti-nuclear movements expressing 'radical thoughts' were marginalized in an increasingly conservative society.
While anti-nuclear movements were being marginalized as a movement only permitted to oppose military use of nuclear power, peace movements that oppose military use but not peaceful use for 'reducing the value of military use of nuclear power' gained political momentum and contributed in establishing an environment where peaceful use of nuclear power could not longer be opposed.
The consequence of marginalization
As a result, both peace movements and anti-nuclear movements lost their social justification to oppose peaceful use of nuclear power in this country. There were no effective forces in this country that could oppose it anymore. In retrospect, this was a tremendous loss for all of those who now advocate for a nuclear-free society.
After the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident, people sought for reliable information and/or data. Where did they turn to? They turned to institutions such as Kakujoho.net (Nuclear Information) or CNIC or Citizens' Nuclear Information Center, which long served as an integral part of the anti-nuclear community that advocated for the end to the peaceful use of nuclear power. For example, Peace Depot, the internationally recognized and self-proclaimed nuclear think tank, have provided many intelligence reports proving the linkages between nuclear power and nuclear weapons development. But their research was only appreciated among the anti-nuclear community internationally, and only in the context of reliable information against the military use of nuclear power, domestically. The value of their information was thus marginalized.
As a result, the general public wasn't aware of the inherent risk of nuclear power plant or the fact that nuclear power plays an integral role in the development of nuclear weapons. They had to face these hard facts without knowing, without having interest, on March 11, 2011.
Fortunately, however, after 3-11 the game has changed. The information provided by the anti-nuclear community has played a vital role in educating the public with the correct knowledge, helping them to mobilize themselves as a group of informed citizens. This in part has led to the successful campaign of the now world renown "Hydrangea Revolution."
II. Peaceful use of nuclear power is impossible under the current policy apparatus
Nuclear Safety - the core issue of nuclear power plant administration
The core issue underlying Japan's peaceful use of nuclear power (nuclear power plant administration) consists of issues in management, control, and mindset, all leading up to nuclear safety. Of course, in retrospect, a country entrenched with seismic faults should not have nearly 60 nuclear power plants built to serve the core of its energy infrastructure in the first place. However, this choice was given to the public long ago, and the public--however deceived by disinformation and propaganda--accepted it as "safe" without giving much thought, or needless to say, a public discourse on the matter. So the 'acceptance' of the building of power plants is a given. The problem is after building them.
Have there been sufficient measures to ensure nuclear safety?
After 3-11 many of the Japanese people recognized for a fact that even though the nuclear power plants may be operated in perfect condition, there are still need for employment of strict safety standards (in both design and operation), a clear documented mindset for emergency response, continual training for emergency scenarios, as well as continual improvements on all safety aspects in order to ensure nuclear safety.
Part of this has been highlighted as one of the recommendations (my blog in Japanese)from the BAS or Bulletin of Atomic Scientists whey they set their Dooms Day Clock to "5 minutes to Midnight"(BAS Timeline) on January 2012.
It has been more than a year after the nuclear power plant accident, but none of these recommendations were adopted. Despite the civilian as well as parliamentary investigation committees leading to the same conclusion that the accident was "manmade" (my blog in Japanese), the National Diet, which is supposed to serve an oversight function over the executive, is utterly dysfunctional. Just by looking at the way they are handling the members selection of the new, Japanese version of Nuclear Regulatory Commission, it is clear that they are incapable of enacting "improvements in human quality".
The direct causes of the accident were all foreseeable prior to March 11, 2011. The TEPCO Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accident was the result of collusion between the government, the regulators and TEPCO, and the lack of governance by said parties. They effectively betrayed the nation’s right to be safe from nuclear accidents. Therefore, we conclude that the accident was clearly “manmade.” We believe that the root causes were the organizational and regulatory systems that supported faulty rationales for decisions and actions, rather than issues relating to the competency of any specific individual. -- Conclusions from the NAIIC Executive Summary of their final report
So as I have stated repeatedly in my blog (Japanese), this nation is not equipped to operate nuclear power.
A pledge commemorating the 67th anniversary of the first nuclear attack
We have, since 67 years ago on this day, three times suffered the exposure to radiation. First and second was due to exposure through nuclear explosion, and it was due to an act of war. Our government has failed to compensate the victims in full till this day. The third exposure was due to natural disaster, but the spread of radiation harm was brought by the incompetence of the nuclear administrators.
Our government does not have the will or the capacity to protect its citizens from the horrors, the threats, the risks, and the dangers of nuclear power.
On this 67th anniversary of the first nuclear attack in world's history, we here by pledge:
that we shall chose a government that would serve to protect its citizens from the horrors of nuclear power; that we shall form an executive branch that would serve to protect its citizens from the threat of nuclear power; that we shall form a legislative branch that would not allow to expose its constituents to the inherent dangers of nuclear power; and that we shall learn from our lessons, all to avert our FOURTH exposure to nuclear radiation.
But we know that today's administration and policy apparatus do not have the will or the capacity to realize this ideal.
After more than a year from the accident, our judgement for the executive as the well as the legislative branch, the regulators, the utilities companies has been set. We have to remake them from scratch. First, we must start with the dissolution of the legislative branch. In order to do that we must force the current administration to step down.
August 6, 2012
In commemoration of the first nuclear attack in world's history
And to avert the fourth national exposure to nuclear radiation