This is part III of III in the “From Hiroshima to Fukushima: Past and Present Perspectives on Nuclear Abolition” video series developed by the National Peace Academy.
Part I features an introduction by Dr. Kathleen Sullivan Program Director of Hibakusha Stories, as well as practical introduction to their disarmament education work with youth. Part II features the story of Shigeko Sasamori, an atomic bomb survivor (Hibakusha) from Hiroshima. Part III features Michael Spies of the United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs Weapons of Mass Destruction Branch. Michael provides an update on the Fukushima Nuclear Plant disaster and illuminates connections between nuclear power and nuclear weapons.
On May 20, 2011 the National Peace Academy hosted a very special evening with Shigeko Sasamori, a survivor from Hiroshima who was in New York for a week of public talks and school visits sponsored by the non-profit educational initiative, Hibakusha Stories. Hibakusha is the Japanese word for atomic bomb survivor, and has come to mean those who survive radiation exposure due to the many links throughout the nuclear fuel chain. Shigeko's testimony is a triumph of love over fear, and her compassion engages audiences of all ages. Joining her was Michael Spies, United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs officer responsible for monitoring and assessing developments at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, who gave an update on Fukushima and current nuclear policies.
The only nation to receive radiation by force through the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, now receives radiation through the force of nature combined with the folly of human ingenuity. Reliance on nuclear power has again proved disastrous. Both nuclear weapons and nuclear power create global insecurity through the production of invisible nearly timeless radiation that can cause cancer and mutate the genome. To protect future generations and prevent future Hibakusha we must explore options for abolishing nuclear weapons, stop the production of nuclear power, and become guardians of our radioactive legacy.