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Morning Star: Protest says: Don't nuke the future

Sunday marked the first anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster caused by an earthquake and tsunami that swept across Japan killing 20,000 people.

At the weekend two survivors of the disaster, Makoto Ishiyama and his wife Akiko Ishiyama, shared their experience of the disaster with protesters at the site of a potential new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset.

It is seen as the new front line in the fight against nuclear power in Britain, with numerous protests and legal challenges having targeted the proposed "Hinkley Point C" plant.

Mr and Mrs Ishiyama (pictured) said that despite having to leave their home and friends they were neither for nor against nuclear power but wanted to warn people of the risks.

"One year ago we used to live in Fukushima city, about 40 miles away from the nuclear plant," Mr Ishiyama said.

"On March 12 and 14 there were explosions at the nuclear plant but at the time the government didn't mention what sort of effect we would get.

"At the beginning the government said it was safe for people, but one of my friends worked at the Tokyo electric company and he suggested maybe we would be affected physically by the radiation so it was better to evacuate and not to eat some local produce, so since then we've stopped eating some food and drink produced in that area."

He added: "The government say it is now safe and they want local people to come back, but it's a total lie. There is still a risk, it's not safe and it is not over."

Around a thousand people protested on Saturday against the development of the new power station. A second protest today attracted a further 100 people.

Among those at the demonstration were Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament general secretary Kate Hudson and Green Party leader Caroline Lucas MP.

Ms Hudson said: "We're very pleased with the turnout.

"There's a groundswell of opinion against nuclear power and the protest here, the good humour, the determination, is a good indicator for the future."

Ms Lucas said that Fukushima "reminded people that nuclear power, when there are accidents, is uniquely devastating in its result."

"We don't want those kinds of problems here," she said.

"The message that we want to send out from here is that nuclear power is unsafe, it is uneconomic, but more than anything it is unnecessary, we simply don't need it to get our emissions down and to keep the lights on."


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