Have you ever thought about the problem of nuclear power?
Nuclear power is an important world problem. After the earthquake on March 11 in Japan, I had a lot of opportunities to think about nuclear power plants. For instance, “How can people continue getting energy without nuclear power plants?” “Which is more important: safety or its usefulness?” and so on. As a Japanese person, I would like to write about nuclear power. I would like people to know more about the situation in Japan and how dangerous nuclear power plants are.
Nuclear power and Japan
Now in Japan, the problem of nuclear power plants is very important. Because of the earthquake, the nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture has collapsed. And the people who were living around the power plants took refuge from where they lived. Still now, they cannot go back there. That is why there are many problems in education, economy, and health. For example, in the case of education, many children who got affected by the nuclear power plant and took refuge became late in their studies, and because of it, the difference in education is increasing. I got this information through newspapers or on TV before I came to Fort Lewis College and while teaching junior high school children who took refuge from the Fukushima prefecture. Before the accidents of the nuclear power plants, Japan was aiming to increase the number of nuclear power plants in order to increase the self-sustenance of energy in Japan. However, now Japan is searching for new ideas to keep the balance between the safety and reaching energy stability.
Nuclear power and Native Americans
After I came to Fort Lewis, I learned about Native Americans. In my class, I learned about Native Americans and the environment. This is the news I got from Native American times:
“In all, about 10 percent of all power plants operate within 20 miles of reservation land, according to an Associated Press analysis of data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Many of those 51 energy production centers are more than a half-century old and affect roughly 48 tribes living on 50 reservations. Fewer than 2 percent of all people in the United States identify as Native American and only a small portion live on tribal land.” (Native American times 6th July 2012 – http://www.nativetimes.com/news/environment/7422-many-native-americans-live-next-to-power-plants)
The reason why the government tries to establish nuclear power plants is to help the economy. I would like for Native American leaders to look at the situation in Japan and think about the health of their people, because I believe that without health we cannot keep the economy well.
~ Hanae Miyabo