Mothers for Peace rally to recognize the 77th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings
The organization Mothers For Peace held a rally recognizing the 77th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings that killed over 100,000 people. The group, known for their opposition to Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, came out to downtown San Luis Obispo on August 6 with signs encouraging a nuclear-free future.
Carole Hisasue is a board member for the organization, and attended the rally. She said in 2006, she and her husband moved onto a ranch in Los Osos from Tokyo, Japan.
“This was like a piece of heaven. Little did I know that seven miles south of us was Diablo Canyon and it's like, 'Oh my goodness, the whole nuclear thing just comes back around into my backyard,'” Hisasue said.
She says once she found out Diablo Canyon was so close to her property — and after the 2011 nuclear disaster of Fukushima — she felt it was necessary to spread the word about the risks of the nuclear industry. Hisasue connected with Mothers for Peace, and she said every year they rally to recognize the 1945 bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
She recalls a friend who grew up in Hiroshima when the atomic bomb dropped.
“He moved to the United States later, after the war, [and] got married to a Japanese-American sanse here in California. They had a child who was born with a birth defect, and the child only lived to two years old,” Hisasue said.
Hisasue said people are still suffering in Japan after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, and many have suffered from multiple cancers or disfigurements that have crossed over to the next generation. She feels there is a fine line between nuclear weapons and energy, and disagrees with the use of the industry completely.
“People don't really understand how dangerous nuclear power plants are here in San Luis Obispo. You know, we've had Diablo Canyon for many decades and nothing major has happened and people go, 'Well, it's safe.' I'm from Japan, I thought that too,” Hisasue said.
Now, she’s talking openly about the Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011, where a 9.0-magnitude earthquake triggered a tsunami that killed more than 18,000 people and wiped entire towns off the map. The quake surged a gigantic wave through Fukushima where a nearby nuclear power plant was located.
Radiation leaked from the plant, forcing more than 150,000 people to evacuate from the area. Hisasue says accidents like this can happen anywhere, though operator PG&E and many seismologists say the plant would be secure even in the case of a major earthquake.
On the other side of the nuclear debate are advocates like Steve Nesbit, a former president of the American Nuclear Society. He spoke to KCBX in June, and voiced his support for Diablo Canyon which he said is both safe and necessary for carbon-free energy production in California.
Nesbit cited the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's oversight of the plant as well as PG&E's preparations as reasons to not fear a major disaster from Diablo Canyon.
“If there was a significant risk there, it would be evident and they would not let the plant continue to operate,” Nesbit said.
Still, as Diablo Canyon continues to be the center of the nuclear energy debate in California, Mothers For Peace say they will continue advocating for its decommissioning.