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Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Essay

2033 words - 8 pages

March 11, 2011 marked the date in which the northern region of Japan, Tohoku, experienced a dreadful environmental tragedy that altered the lives of many Japanese people. A massive earthquake and tsunami triggered widespread and irrevocable damage to not only the Tohoku region and communities living there, but also to the nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant ensuing the uncontrolled release of radiation into the environment. Due to this nuclear catastrophe at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant, many people have begun to question the plausibility of nuclear safety and the possibility of reliable government information. Japan, having suffered nuclear attacks in the past, has become a highly “nuclearized” nation despite the danger and risks involved. Japanese acceptance of nuclear power was developed through the employment of the “safety myth” and the promotion of the benefits of nuclear power. Prior to the accident in Fukushima, Japanese citizens did not realize the danger and risk that nuclear energy possessed because the government taught them otherwise. Many are starting to understand that the health and security of those directly affected by the earthquake, tsunami, and Fukushima have been seriously compromised by a misguided national reliance on nuclear-generated electricity and power led by the government and enacted by their use of the “safety myth.” As a result, the accident in Fukushima has severely transformed Japanese people’s opinions towards nuclear power. In the wake of this disaster, Japanese people are reckoned with tough questions concerning the state of their nation, dependence on nuclear power for energy, the competence, and trustworthiness of their government, and the health and safety of their citizens. The Fukushima accident has led to widespread fear and disapproval of nuclear power stimulating Japanese anti-nuclear movements and overall government mistrust.
Due to the construction of the “safety myth”, the government successfully altered the opinions many Japanese people had concerning nuclear energy and power. The machination behind the perpetuation of the “safety myth” in Japan hid the possible dangers of nuclear power as Japanese became prosperous, modernized, and developed new technologies that required fewer resources and importing. In order to persuade the Japanese public, the government as well as large nuclear companies invested both time and money into campaigns, advertisements, and educational programs that promoted nuclear power for its necessity and its safety for Japan (Onishi 2011). Funds were also dedicated to transform the public relations building of nuclear plants to appeal to young mothers, those who were most concerned about the danger behind nuclear energy and how that could affect their children and the community. Advertisements, theme parks, games and reassuring guides all were major efforts to persuade and convince Japanese people about the absolute safety of nuclear...

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