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Nuclear (campaign title)
Radiation Survey in Obori, Namie
Greenpeace Korea energy campaigner, Mari Chang in Obori, Namie-town inside the highly contaminated exclusion zone in Namie, Fukushima prefecture. The area has produced high quality pottery or “Obori Somayaki” since feudal times (over 300 years) and is recognized officially in Japan as a centre of traditional craft producing Japanese treasure. In the United States it is popularly known as producing "Idea Cup" or "Double Cup." Obori was evacuated in March 2011 due to the radioactive fallout from the triple reactor meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. This area remains closed for people to return to, and the traditional sources of clay and ceramic glaze, that made Obori pottery famous, is no longer available. The Japanese government plans to open a small area of Obori as early as 2023, however the levels of radiation measured by Greenpeace in this highly contaminated area mean that it will be many decades and beyond the end of the century before radiation levels will even approach government targets.
In original language:
© Christian Åslund / Greenpeace
Fukushima Radiation Survey 2019 (Photos by Christian Åslund)
Greenpeace Japan conducts its annual radiation survey in Fukushima prefecture. In summer 2020, the Azuma Stadium will host sporting events during the Olympic Games. The Abe government of Japan is trying to use the Olympics to communicate that there are no radiation risks in Fukushima following the 3/11 triple reactor meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi. Greenpeace is conducting its survey so that it can provide accurate independent information on radiation levels in Fukushima prefecture. 70% of Fukushima Prefecture is mountainous forest which cannot be decontaminated, as a result there is a long term source of contamination to the environment of Fukushima prefecture. The radioactive material, mostly cesium 137, moves slowly through the ecosystem of the forest. During heavy rains, and in particular as a result of typhoons, radioactivity in Fukushima rivers systems has been found to increase significantly. This has the effect of increasing radioactive contamination of the rivers and Pacific Ocean, but also the recontamination of land through flooding. As of October 2019 there are at least 40,000 citizens that remain evacuated from their homes in Fukushima as result of the March 2011 triple reactor meltdown. The Abe government is continuing its policy of seeking to force evacuees to return to their homes in areas of Fukushima, in particular in Namie and Iitate, where radiation levels are high and where it is not safe to live. United Nations Human Rights Special Rapporteurs and human rights bodies, including the UN Committee for the Convention on the Rights of the Child have called on the Japanese government to abide by their obligations under multiple human rights conventions and treaties. The 2020 Olympic Games to be held in Fukushima will therefore take place when the reality for many tens of thousands of Fukushima citizens remain critical with ongoing violation of their basic human rights.