Reverend Sawada Gyosen plans to walk from Santa Barbara to Diablo Canyon to commemorate the third anniversary of the Fukushima meltdown.

Reverend Sawada Gyosen is a Buddhist monk from Japan who will conduct a Peace Walk from Santa Barbara to Diablo Canyon’s nuclear plant, to commemorate the third anniversary of the Fukushima meltdown. He will depart Santa Barbara March 4, and arrive for a vigil at the Diablo Canyon nuclear reactors on March 11.

Diablo Canyon is the last nuclear plant in California and sits near earthquake fault lines. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been turning a blind eye to the situation, which makes Diablo a danger similar to the disastrous meltdown caused by an earthquake and tsunami at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan, which occurred three years ago on March 11, 2014.

Independent investigations report Fukushima’s nuclear plant was never equipped to withstand the earthquake and tsunami; estimates of Diablo Canyon’s nuclear plant predict the same fate in the event of a sizable earthquake. Just about any Internet search produces much convincing data to cause alarm in even the most apathetic over the unsafe, unethical, and nonsensical reality of nuclear plants.

If you believe you shouldn’t be alarmed that these so-called “safe and economic” forms of energy can affect you, consider the rate at which the nuclear waste released from Fukushima is traveling through our oceans. Many media sources are reporting that the toxic byproduct from Fukushima’s plants is predicted to reach Pacific coasts by April 2014 .

Among the more obvious and blatant correlations associated with nuclear power plant accidents is the escalation of cancer, specifically of the thyroid. Initial research derived out of the Chernobyl accident in 1986. Some 28 years later, and with a steady rise in physical side effects connected to exposure to nuclear plants, including those plants intact, the Nuclear Energy Institute found that there still remains support favoring the use of these power plants.

PG&E’s home page on its website uses key words such as “illumination”, “safe”, and “beneficial” — ask the families whose babies have been born with birth defects or have died of leukemia what star rating they’d give PG&E if they were to review their services — my guess would be lower than one star when viewing PG&E’s advertisement and practices according to the Federal Trade Commission’s policy statement on deception.

I can’t imagine the concepts, let alone words, such as illumination, safe, or beneficial, entering the minds of these parents as they’ve watched their children take their last breaths. I’m thinking concepts and words more along the lines of “sorrow,” “grief,” and “devastation” are what come to mind, and experience.

As with any tragic or catastrophic event or circumstance, if we don’t experience it firsthand, and don’t have the tools to reconcile the cognitive dissonance created from fathoming the idea of it happening to our loved ones or ourselves, we tend to tuck it away or rationalize it as something that only happens to other people.

Let me put it in relative terms — Diablo Canyon is merely 90 miles from Santa Barbara, California. The nuclear waste from Fukushima, which is many more miles from our coast, is estimated to begin arriving on these shores within a few weeks. Go ahead, shake your head, baffled by the seeming lack of relativity. That’s just my point: We are at the mercy of nuclear plants; what’s relative is no matter where we are in proximity to nuclear plants, we are all at their mercy. Nuclear plants are no match for Mother Nature, and her occasional fits, earthquakes.

Whoever thought locating nuclear power plants near several earthquake faults was a good idea, isn’t just nuts; they are negligent, and criminal at worst. PG&E claims these nuclear plants are illuminating, safe, beneficial, and economical, to which I respond, to whom?!

Let’s illuminate the fact that nuclear plants were an ill-conceived idea that needs to be disposed of now, in order to avoid future tragedies like Fukushima and protect our very own area from such a fate.

Let’s illuminate the fact that the only corrective measure is to eliminate all nuclear plants and get rid of Obama’s $8 billion loan guarantee aimed at assisting in the construction of at least half dozen nuclear plants over the next decade.

It’s time to slap hands out of the cookie jar, and behave ourselves, by identifying how we contribute to the supply and demand of this corporate mechanism. Haven’t we always said, “more energy please!” It’s time to turn off our lights, literally, and burn a candle in vigil for the lights that have been turned off permanently.

Keep the conversation going. It’s time to partner up and become the community conglomerates that vigilante the corporate monsters right out of town. These are our towns, not theirs!


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