In the 70th year of atomic bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the major groups of nuclear victims and civil society organisations have come together to organise a World Nuclear Victims Forum in Hiroshima between 21-23 November. The initiative aims at bringing together radiation victims of uranium mines, nuclear power plants and nuclear test sites from all over the world. The eminent experts and scientists who have worked on the issues related to nuclear victims will also make presentations in the forum.
The forum will culminate in the launch of a Declaration of Nuclear Victims’ Rights Charter. The charter would evolve from the discussions in the forum which will deliberate on the broad themes of Hiroshima and Nagasaki A-bomb survivors, Fukushima Disaster, campaign against nuclear power generation and nuclear fuel cycle, campaign to ban nuclear weapons, Campaign to ban depleted uranium weapons, campaign against uranium mining and support for nuclear disaster victims. The initiative thus aims to highlight the range of affects that the entire nuclear fuel cycle and nuclear weapons have on the victims.
Uranium mining victims from India, nuclear testing victims from Pacific Islands and Down Winders from the
USA and from Semipalatinsk, theChernobyl disaster victims the victims of depleted uranium from Iraq, survivor-victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki A-bombs, the Lucky Dragon No. 5 victims and the Fukushima disaster victims would make presentations. Medical and legal experts, nuclear energy experts, anti-nuclear weapon and anti-nuclear power representatives from various countries would also present their perspectives.
The detailed program of the World Nuclear VCictims Forum(November 21-23, 2015) can be accessed here.
This is how the organisers have defined the purpose of their initiative:
The grave, devastating effects of nuclear materials and activity are being felt around the world.
The year 2015 will be the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings. The nuclear age that began when the US bombed Hiroshima gave human beings the power to extinguish human life on this planet. The hibakusha (survivors) who experienced that hellish catastrophe are still suffering its endless harmful aftereffects, and yet, those who wield nuclear power in all its forms have sought to trivialize or conceal those effects.
On March 11, 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake caused another terribly destructive nuclear disaster in Fukushima. A great many citizens in the Fukushima area and elsewhere in East Japan lost their right to live ordinary lives in their hometowns, and the prospects of recovery seem distant and difficult.
All stages and situations in the nuclear cycle (uranium mining, refinement and enrichment, production of nuclear weapons or nuclear fuel, nuclear testing, use of nuclear weapons, the operation of nuclear power plants, nuclear power plant accidents, reprocessing of used nuclear fuel, storage and disposal of nuclear waste, use of depleted uranium weapons, etc.) have caused widespread environmental contamination and serious harmful effects on human bodies.
More than 2000 nuclear tests spread radioactive contamination around the globe, robbing people of their health and even their lives. Most of the victims are close to the test sites, of course, but radiation can travel and strike anywhere.
At more than 400 nuclear power plants around the world, workers are exposed to radiation even under normal operating conditions. The enormous amounts of radiation released from Chernobyl and Fukushima have taken lives, health, and hometowns from hundreds of thousands of people, contaminating the global environment.
The utilization of nuclear energy, whether for military or commercial purposes, involves serious radiation damage and could make the Earth uninhabitable. We have seen this tragic reality emerge again and again, with uranium mining in India, the use of DU ammunition in Iraq, among the down-winders near the Nevada nuclear test site, and among the people of Fukushima. Lives, bodies, and the natural environment are devastated. All of this tragedy is inflicted on the weak and unsuspecting by a small number of extremely powerful elite capitalists who never hesitate to sacrifice ordinary people in their pursuit of profit. This selfish behavior is unacceptable.
Nuclear weapons, depleted uranium ordnance, and nuclear power plants have ruthlessly trampled on the human right to live in peace and security. We still have no idea how to treat or dispose of radioactive waste, especially the highly radioactive waste from reactors and the reprocessing of used fuel. The accumulation of this waste threatens the future of humankind.
In 2015, during the 70th anniversary year of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings, a broad coalition of anti-nuclear activists will hold a World Nuclear Victims Forum here in Hiroshima, the site of that first inhumane utilization of nuclear energy. “Humankind and nuclear technology cannot coexist.” Ours is an absolutely anti -nuclear alliance. That is, we intend both to abolish nuclear weapons and terminate the utilization of nuclear energy.
We will announce in Hiroshima a Charter of Nuclear Victims’ Rights and work to obtain support for this charter from the UN Human Rights Commission, the International Red Cross, other international NGOs and other international agencies.
We hereby call on all nuclear victims to join us and raise your voice. Let’ s work together to stop nuclear damage and bring an end to the nuclear age.