March 10, 2017, Friday, from 7PM to 9PM
Goddard Riverside Community Center
593 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY
(NE corner of 88th and Columbus Avenue)
Subway: B, C or 1 to 86th Street
Dr. Gordon Edwards, President, The Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility
Ms. Naoko Suzuki
Ms. Yasuyo Tanaka
Almost 6 years have passed since TEPCO's nuclear power plant disaster at Fukushima Daiichi in March 2011, which resulted in a massive leakage of radioactive materials into the environment. Today, TEPCO still does not know how to stop the ongoing radioactive leaks from its facilities. Many people, including children and pregnant women, still live in areas highly contaminated by the nuclear accident, because the Japanese government set the boundary of the evacuation zones based on an exposure level of 20 mSv per year, a threshold 20 times higher than that of the international protection standard and the pre-catastrophe national standard. Those who chose to evacuate from Fukushima Prefecture continue to live with many challenges even 6 years after the nuclear disaster. So-called “voluntary evacuees” (Fukushima evacuees from towns outside the evacuation zones) is a term that was created after the nuclear disaster in order to distinguish them from evacuees whose towns were designated within the evacuation zones and who are entitled to various public assistance and financial compensations from government.
In the United States, there are about 100 nuclear power reactors still in operation. Two of them operate at the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, 25 miles from New York City. Nearly 20 million people reside, work or play within a 50 miles radius of these nuclear reactors. In January 2017, New York State and Entergy (owner of the Indian Point) reached an agreement that Indian Point Unit 2 will shut down by April 30, 2020 and Unit 3 by April 30, 2021. What are the challenges and complications associated with nuclear waste management after the closing of the Indian Point? How the AIM pipeline of Spectra Energy which will run near the Indian Point nuclear facility would complicate the decommissioning process of the Indian Point? Why do we have to take the Fukushima nuclear disaster seriously?
Dr. Gordon Edwards of the Canadian Coalition of Nuclear Responsibility will talk about challenges and risks associated with management of nuclear wastes from nuclear facilities. We will also hear from an evacuee from Fukushima who will share the challenges that many evacuees face 6 years after the disaster, including housing issues and rising number of thyroid cancer among children from Fukushima. We will also hear a report from a local activist on her recent trip to Fukushima and about her hometown in Japan that is considered to be one of the final disposable sites of radioactive wastes from the Fukushima Daiichi. A Q&A session will follow the presentations.
Dr. Gordon Edwards co-founded Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility in 1975 and rose to prominence as one of Canada’s best known independent experts on nuclear technology, uranium, and weapons proliferation. Dr. Edwards first became involved in the issues of reactor safety, radioactive wastes and plutonium recycling for the Ontario Royal Commission on Electric Power Planning in 1977-78, where he cross-examined industry and government witnesses on a daily basis for three months. He also played a role in public debates that resulted in permanent bans on uranium exploration in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, and Eeyou-Istchee (Northern Quebec). He has been a consultant to governmental and non-governmental bodies, such as the Auditor General of Canada and United Steelworkers of America. He has worked with aboriginal groups: Assembly of First Nations, Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, Mohawks of Kanesetake, Inuit Tapiriit Kanitami, Cree Nation of James Bay, and Chippewas of Nawash.
Ms. Naoko Suzuki is a mother of 8-year-old and 13-year-old daughters who used to live in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, a city which is only 31 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Her family became so-called “voluntary evacuees” when they fled from their home in Iwaki and relocated to Saitama Prefecture in the wake of the March 2011 nuclear disaster. In order to financially support her family, her husband remained in Iwaki until 2013. Ms. Suzuki is Director of Koko Cafe@Kawagoe, a support group for people who were affected by the nuclear disaster. She is also a co-founder of “Pororon”, a support group for mothers who “voluntarily” evacuated from Fukushima. She is also an active member of Mothers Against War Saitama.
Ms. Yasuyo Tanaka is a multidisciplinary artist and educator who has been influenced by the history and geography of the U.S. and Japan. Her motivation and subject matter include international disputes, environmental issues, borders, discrimination, identity, media literacy, and self-transformation. After the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident, nuclear issues became important in her work, partly because her family in Japan was directly affected by the disaster, and her hometown became a candidate to be a final disposal site of nuclear wastes from Fukushima. In her artistic practice, she has been researching, documenting, and creating artworks on nuclear issues in order to fill the gap between art and journalism. She is a co-founding member of Manhattan Project for a Nuclear-Free World. www.yasuyoart.blogspot.com
Manhattan Project for a Nuclear-Free World
Founded in Manhattan, NY in March 2012, the Manhattan Project for a Nuclear-Free World is a group of concerned citizens, educators, health advocates, artists and lawyers with a mission to raise awareness of the costs, risks, and humanitarian consequences of nuclear energy and nuclear weapons. We grew out of discussions with representatives of diverse civil society and grassroots groups who gathered in Manhattan to plan hosting events to commemorate the first anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster with evacuees from Fukushima. We chose the name to remind ourselves, that not only had we first met in Manhattan, but our mission is to undo the unconscionable labors of the original Manhattan Project that unleashed nuclear weapons and nuclear power upon the world. We believe that our name is a teachable moment to younger generations who do not know the original Manhattan Project. To achieve our goals, we organize educational events, publish informative material, and support campaigns and projects aimed toward eliminating all nuclear power and nuclear weapons through education and arts. We also reach out to policy makers to advocate the importance of implementing carbon-free, nuclear-free policies in order to protect the most vulnerable group in our society.
The Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition (IPSEC)
IPSEC is a coalition of over 70 environmental, health and public policy organizations, was founded in 2001 to address the vulnerability of the nuclear reactors at the Indian Point nuclear power plant. Over 20 million people live within 50 miles of the plant. Our concerns include both existing radiation releases and potential additional releases from human error, aging infrastructure or terrorism, and the flawed, unfixable evacuation plan. Our grassroots efforts have enlisted the support of hundreds of local, state and federal officials.
Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility (CCNR)
CCNR is a not-for-profit organization, federally incorporated in 1978 in Canada. It is dedicated to education and research on all issues related to nuclear energy, whether civilian or military -- including non-nuclear alternatives -- especially those pertaining to Canada.
Peace Action Fund of New York State
Peace Action grew out of the SANE and Nuclear Freeze movements of the 1980's and is the nation's largest and oldest grassroots peace organization, with over 100,000 members. Peace Action New York State has 18 chapters throughout NY, from Buffalo to Staten Island, with over 3,000 total members. PANYS works to change U.S. policy - foreign and domestic - through education and grassroots lobbying and activism. We support a U.S. foreign policy that promotes human rights, international cooperation and arms control. PANYS actively works to abolish nuclear weapons, end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan & bring the troops home, close foreign military bases, and continue a strategy of diplomacy - not war - with Iran. On domestic policy, PANYS participates in the New Priorities Network (www.newprioritiesnetwork.o
(We are still adding more co-sponsors)
(Facebook event page) Challenges of nuclear waste management & lessons from Fukushima