Photography: Tsuruga

Tsuruga, in Fukui prefecture on the Sea of Japan coast and less than 100km from Kyoto (115km from Nagoya), is a pleasant part of central Japan. Unfortunately it’s also home to three nuclear power stations, one of which geologists say lies under the Urasoko faultline (浦底断層) which is capable of causing a major 7.4M earthquake or greater. All three nuclear power plants are within a 20km radius of each other.

I understand that we need to urgently find a way to contain global warming and that nuclear power can play a part in that, but as Fukushima proved Japan really is playing a dangerous game. Although all of Japan’s reactors are currently offline the ruling government would like to restart them as soon as possible to boost the economy.

I sat and watched the children below playing in the shadows of a potential catastrophe with a mixture of anger and frustration at why somebody thought it would be a good idea to build three nuclear power plants in such a quiet and picturesque but dangerous location. Japan is the most seismically active country on the planet so you would have thought somebody would have checked the original plans over with geologists first. Obviously not.

Over simplistic and naive I know, but if we could just stop buying crap that we don’t need we might just have a chance to put things right. But to be honest, after recently reading this I’m not so sure there’s a way out.

However, over the past three years Japan has shown that it can survive perfectly well without nuclear power and I truly hope it remains that way.







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