Exactly two months ago an earthquake and tsunami hit Japan. Together, they not only resulted in a huge natural disaster, but also triggered an unprecedented man made tragedy. The Fukushima nuclear power plant is still out of control, threatening thousands of people’s health and livelihoods.
At 5pm on Tuesday the 26th of April the candlelight vigil seemed like a very bad idea. Not only was it the last night of the Easter Break with half of Sydney stuck in traffic jams up and down the coast, the rain was so fierce it was coming in sideways and the wind was wild.
Between 2000 and 2002, I was part of a Greenpeace team that mounted a global campaign to stop the transport of mixed oxide (MOX) plutonium based nuclear fuel and radioactive waste across the world, and through the Pacific.
On August 6, 1945, the city of Hiroshima was destroyed by a single atomic bomb. Upon impact, thousands of people were instantly carbonised in a blast a thousand times hotter than the sun's surface. Around 80,000 died instantly, while the final toll climbed to 250,000. On August 9, Nagasaki suffered a comparable fate.