On the 6th of August every year the world commemorates Hiroshima Day, the anniversary of the first use of a nuclear weapon in war. On this day in 1945 the USA dropped the “little boy” bomb on Hiroshima, killing between 90 000 and 160 000 and ushering the world into a fearful new era, an era in which human military operations hold the potential to wipe out virtually all life on the planet.
This year, 66 years after the devastating blast, the anniversary takes on extra meaning as Japan is once again in the grip of a disaster caused by the nuclear industry. Six months after a devastating earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima nuclear power plant the government of Japan has still been unable to control the spread of radioactive material into surrounding waters or the nation’s food supplies, creating dire risks for the health of people in Japan and throughout the world, the full effects of which may not become apparent for years to come.
It was inspiring to be joined by hundreds of other Sydneysiders at the Hiroshima Day rally in Belmore Park last Saturday, sending the message loud and clear that we should be playing no part in the further proliferation of nuclear energy through the mining of uranium, and make no further contribution to the risk of nuclear weapons being used by becoming involved in conflicts overseas that risk escalating tensions to this point.
Sadly much of the world still heads down the nuclear path and we wonder how many more Fukishimas it will take before Australia stops fuelling the dangerous nuclear cycle.