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Mothers Rise Against Nuclear Power via IPS

By Suvendrini Kakuchi

TOKYO, Dec 22, 2011 (IPS) – Japan’s nuclear power industry, which once ignored opposition, now finds its existence threatened by women angered by official opaqueness on radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant after it was struck by an earthquake- driven tsunami on Mar. 11.

“Mothers are at the forefront of various grassroots movements that are working together to stop the operation of all nuclear plants in Japan from 2012,” Aileen Miyoko Smith, head of Green Action, a non- governmental organisation (NGO) that promotes renewable energy told IPS.

More than 100 anti-nuclear demonstrators, most of them women, met with officials of the Nuclear Safety Commission this week and handed over a statement calling for a transparent investigation into the accident and a permanent shutdown of all nuclear power plants.

Currently six of Japan’s 56 nuclear plants are closed, some for stress tests after the Fukushima accident exposed serious breaches of safety precautions in the nuclear power industry.

More than 150,000 people remain unable to return home because of high levels of radiation in the Fukushima vicinity. There is now evidence that contamination has spread to rice and vegetables grown in nearby farming areas, and found its way into baby food products on supermarket shelves.

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