My Facebook friend, Frankie Chan from Hongkong just posted a link on his wall to a Facebook Note in Chinese, with an English title: “The experience from an insider of nuclear power station”.  Reading the note, I realized that it was translated from a Japanese article by Norio Hirai, a former piping engineer from a Nuclear Power Plant. Norio passed away in 1997 because of cancer.
I spent 4 years in Japan, and have a lot of great memories about Japan and her people. I have been frantically tried to call some of my friends and still haven’t got in touch with some of them. Fortunately they are living far away from Sendai area.
I got a goose bump reading the note, but it would take a long time for me to translate it to share with you. Accordingly, I went to search for an English version on the internet and instead I found Norio Hirai’s original article in Japanese with a loosely translated title: I want to know, what is the nuclear power actually? .
In the introduction of his writing with a sub-title, I’m not a Nukenik, Norio wrote:
I’m not an nukenik (anti nuclear power activist). For 20 years I worked at a nuclear power plant. While there are some controversies, whether to favor the nuclear power, or nuclear power is dangerous or safe, I’d like to talk about ‘the real story about nuclear power’ that were unknown to most of the people. If you are patience enough to read through the end of the article, then you will find that contrary to what you have in mind, there are many workers being contaminated by radiation as well as many discrepancies or deviations from what have been reported on a daily basis.
I tried Google Translate tool, but as expected, the result was so terrible. Fortunately I found another article in English with the title that I quoted for this post by Mari Takenouchi and I’m happy to put the link shown in the references list below.
This is what Mari quoted from Norio Hirai’s work:
A Voice from Insider
According to the late Hirai Norio, a piping specialist and supervisor for nuclear power plant construction for 20 years, the earthquake resistance of nuclear power plants is very much in doubt. He pointed out various types of dangers, based on his many years of work and empirical knowledge. Hirai wrote that the basic cause of the weakness of these important infrastructures, which seem to be earthquake resistant, is that there is a lot of emphasis on the planning stage, but that not enough attention is given to the actual construction process. He further stressed that the same thing could be applied to the construction of nuclear power plants.
Like Norio, I’m not a nukenik. My first job was with the Nuclear Energy Agency back at the end of 1970th. However, looking at what is going on after the 9.0 earthquake in Sendai, Japan following by the devastation of tsunami and the exploisions at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plants, I believe we should take a second look on the nuclear energy policies in every country, particularly in the earthquake prone countries, including the United States.
Finally, here is the translation from the last few paragraphs of Norio’s work that I’d like to share with you:
Why people always said about peaceful use of nuclear energy? As I have repeatedly said, there is no peaceful use of the nuclear energy.
That’s why, I have a request. Every morning, I ask you to firmly look at your kids or your grand kids’ faces. If Japan just treated the nuclear energy this way, my biggest concern is not only the accident, but the destruction of the plants by an earth quake. If we keep going the way it is right now, we will reach a point of no return. I really want you to know this fact.
In addition, I don’t agree to expand the nuclear power plants from now on, and I become an opponent that absolutely against the new construction of nuclear power plants. All the nuclear power plants that are in operations should also be closed down.
As long as there are nuclear power, there is no peace on earth. Let’s leave a beautiful earth to our kids.
- “The experience from an insider of nuclear power station”.
- 原発がどんなものか知ってほしい (I want to know, what is nuclear power actually?)
- A Dangerous Mix: Earthquakes and Nuclear Power Plants, by Mari Takenouchi