For more than 65 years, the worst event in Japan’s modern history stood alone, with nothing afterward momentous enough to change its lessons. Those who survived the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki decided that similar bombs should never be dropped again. To ensure that outcome, they called for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
Nuclear power, though, was another matter. Japan’s nationwide survivors’ group never rallied against nuclear-generated energy as such, perhaps because many saw a redemptive justice in using it peacefully. Reactors could power the country’s economy, they hoped, by harnessing the same force that once caused so much damage.
Then on March 11, the damage was reprised. The tsunami-triggered meltdowns at three Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors were nowhere near as acute or deadly as the cataclysm that engulfed Hiroshima.
Read the rest of the story: In a switch, Japan’s A-bomb survivors turn against nuclear energy.