Fukushima Remembered March 10 and 11 - Press Release

For Immediate Release
Contact: Gary Headrick, 949-218-4051, gary@sanclementegreen.org
               Gene Stone, 949-922-3273, gensto@sbcglobal.net

Part 1 - Fukushima Dai-ichi Disaster First Anniversary Memorial Observed

Two survivors of Japan’s 2011 massive earthquake, tsunami, explosions and nuclear reactor meltdowns, Ms. Kyoko Sugasawa and Mr. HirohideSukuma of Fukushima will speak Saturday, March 10, at the San Clemente Community Center, 100 Calle Seville on how their lives and those of hundreds of thousands of people have been forever altered by the disasters. The memorial program will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The South Coast premiere of “Fukushima, Never Again” will also be featured on the program. The documentary focuses on children, who are most susceptible to the long-term effects of radiation and of the ongoing struggles of Japanese citizens to make TEPCO, the owners of the nuclear plant and the Japanese government “do the right thing.”  Following will be a perspective on the abundant safe alternatives to nuclear power presented by pro-surfer, Kyle Thiermann.

The evening will conclude with a quiet candlelight procession honoring the many lives lost and those still suffering the loss of loved ones, of community, of home, and of their way of life.

Part 2 - Concerned Citizens to Protest at San Onofre, Comparing it to Fukushima.

In a second event, many people from Orange, San Diego, and Riverside counties will gather Sunday, March 11, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (REMEMBER DAYLIGHT SAVINGS ON SUNDAY MORNING) for a peaceful rally and protest at San Onofre State Beach, one-half mile south of San Onofre Nuclear Power Generator. The focus will be on similarities of the Fukushima-Dai-ichi power plant to San Onofre.  Like Japan’s, San Onofre is on the shore of the Pacific Ocean adjacent to active earthquake faults.

Again, Ms. Sugasawa and Mr. Sukuma will be there to share their personal story as well as other speakers raising a myriad of concerns of living in close proximity to a problem-ridden, aging nuclear power plant. Both Units II and III have been shut down for over a month due to a radiation leak. It was discovered that thin metal tubes inside one of two steam generators showed greater-than-expected signs of wear. Over 800 tubes were affected. The thinner the tubes are worn, the more likely they are to burst. Both reactors’ four generators were replaced less than two years ago at a cost of $680 million dollars. A few months ago, San Onofre had to be evacuated due to an ammonia leak.  Over 4,000 tons of radioactive waste is still stored on site. Along with the many other known issues at San Onofre, including having ten times the number of safety allegations over industry standards, it is understandable why citizens are so concerned about a dangerous power plant that only provides 7% of California's energy.

Guest Speaker Bios (photos attached):

Ms. Kyoko Sugasawa
I was born and raised in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture (*). I live with my husband, his parents, and our two children (3rd grader and a kindergartener). I am still confused about this honorable invitation because I am just a housewife. Before March 11th, I saw protesters on the street or heard speeches against nukes, but was apathetic about nuclear issues. I ran a small deli that sells food. In the devastation of earthquakes, people rushed to my deli to get their food. Because I did not know anything about radioactive contamination at that time, I led my customers and myself exposed to radioactive contamination.
 After a while, I started organizing study groups with lecturers and activists against nukes. With concerned parents, I organized measurement of radioactive contamination in school yards. We found out that our school grounds are as contaminated as the soil in Fukushima. Then, we started negotiations, protests, demands to the board of education in Sendai city, or to municipal governments and representatives. We joke that parents like us are using this HTM Language = Hoshano (radioactivity) Tatakau (fighiting) M (against) amongst ourselves despite the fact that many who aren't concerned are called "Radioactive Geeks/Fools" by those who are less concerned. I also have dilemma about this trip because my family members I have constant quarrels about my activism.
 (*Miyagi Prefecture is the North neighboring prefecture to Fukushima. It is one of the most devastated places by Tsunamis and earthquakes. Its Onagawa Nuclear Reactor is also damaged by the disaster, but it is hardly ever reported in news media.)

Mr. Hirohide Sakuma
I was born in Fukushima city, Fukushima Prefecture. I live with my wife and a two year old daughter in Miyagi. My wife is from Aomori, and is furious about Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant (**1) and Oma Nuclear Power Plant in Aomori. Since we saw "When the Wind Blows", we became conscious about the horror of nuclear power and weapon making policies. I joined anti-nukes movement since 1988 after Chernobyl. But in some part of my mind, I didn't expect this accident to happen even after I collected so much data about Tepco. I regret that I threw all these data when my daughter was born and when we moved my office in 2010. My family members are able to talk about Fukushima nuclear accident, but are suffering from the response from institutions like kindergartens, federal and municipal governments. As a breadwinner of the house, my mind is constantly debating whether we should evacuate from Sendai, or is this a kind of risk that we can reduce?

Sponsors and endorsers of the events include: Citizens Oversight Project, Peace and Recourse Ctr. of S.D, Residents Organizing for a Safe Environment (ROSE), San Onofre Safety (SOS), San Clemente Green, S.D. Coalition for Peace and Justice, Talk Nukes, Occupy Encinitas, Occupy San Diego, Ocean Outfall and More…  details at http://www.copswiki.org/Common/M11SanOnofreProtestAndRally , www.sanclementegreen.org , www.sanonofresafety.org , www.residentsorgainizingforaSafeEnvironment.wordpress.com

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