By Masato Tainaka
Residents who fell sick living near the facility that produced plutonium for the Nagasaki atomic bomb are seeking Japanese support for a campaign against an attraction in the United States that they say “glorifies” nuclear weapons.
The move by the group called Consequences of Radiation Exposure (CORE) follows the U.S. government’s establishment on Nov. 10 of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park at three sites related to the development of the first atomic bombs used by the United States.
ログイン前の続きOne of those sites is in Hanford, Washington state, which in 1945 produced the plutonium for the world’s first nuclear test in Alamogordo, New Mexico, as well as in the bomb detonated over Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945.
“The intended purpose of this new park was to glorify the science behind the atomic bomb,” said Trisha Pritikin, 65, a founding member of CORE and a lawyer whose father worked as an engineer at the Hanford facility. “We are fighting an uphill battle.”
One of CORE’s objectives is to collect donations to build a new museum in Seattle to focus on the negative consequences of the nuclear weapons development program and nuclear energy.
Tom Bailie, 68, a farmer near Hanford and CORE member, said: “Humans cannot co-exist with nuclear weapons or nuclear power plants. I want to build a museum with the people of Japan who are well aware of that.”[…]
Bailie has suffered from various health problems since childhood. At 18, he was diagnosed as being infertile. Family members have also died of cancer.
He has previously spoken to the media about what he calls “the death mile” near his home where there has been a high incidence of miscarriage, deformed babies, cancer and leukemia.
Bailie also appeared in the 2003 Japanese movie “Hibakusha–At the End of the World” about the survivors of the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well as Iraqi victims of depleted uranium shells, directed by Hitomi Kamanaka.
Pritikin’s parents both died of thyroid cancer and she herself suffers from headaches and gastrointestinal and thyroid problems. She said radiation from the Hanford site “killed him (my father), my mom, and, maybe, eventually me.”
Since 1990, about 5,000 individuals, including many downwinders, have filed lawsuits against the companies contracted with the Department of Energy. Pritikin was one of those litigants, but courts never acknowledged a causal relationship between radiation and health problems. Many of the plaintiffs died before a verdict was even handed down.
The display at the Hanford B reactor now highlights the scientific achievements that gave birth to the nuclear age.