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Nobel winning writer warned of dangers of nuclear power during Japan visit via The Asahi Shimbun

The new Nobel laureate in literature warned that even a minor natural disaster could lead to a nuclear catastrophe during her visit to Japan in 2003, according to a doctor who met the writer.

Svetlana Alexievich, a journalist born in Ukraine and raised in Belarus, the nations affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, published “Voices from Chernobyl–Chronicle of the Future” in 1997 about the consequences of the calamity.

“I vividly remember that she said peaceful use of nuclear power and nuclear weapons are two sides of a coin, completely identical,” said Minoru Kamata, a medical doctor and chairman of the Japan Chernobyl Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides medical assistance to those affected by the disaster.

“She continued to say that in Japan (the danger of) nuclear power generation is covered up in the name of peaceful use, but even a minor natural disaster could lead to a serious accident,” he added.

Alexievich, 67, was named the recipient of this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature on Oct. 8 “for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time.”

Kamata said the award of a Nobel Prize to a critic of nuclear power should strike a chord with people in Japan who experienced the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011 and are now watching as the government begins to reactivate nuclear reactors.

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