My Nuclear Nightmare
Leading Japan through the Fukushima Disaster to a Nuclear-Free Future
Translated by Jeffrey S. Irish
"Naoto Kan, who was prime minister of Japan when the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster began, has become a ubiquitous and compelling voice for the global antinuclear movement. Kan compared the potential worst-case devastation that could be caused by a nuclear power plant meltdown as tantamount only to 'a great world war. Nothing else has the same impact.' Japan escaped such a dire fate during the Fukushima disaster, said Kan, only ‘due to luck.’ Even so, Kan had to make some steely-nerved decisions that necessitated putting all emotion aside. In a now famous phone call from Tepco, when the company asked to pull all their personnel from the out-of-control Fukushima site for their own safety, Kan told them no. The workforce must stay. The few would need to make the sacrifice to save the many. Kan knew that abandoning the Fukushima Daiichi site would cause radiation levels in the surrounding environment to soar. His insistence that the Tepco workforce remain at Fukushima was perhaps one of the most unsung moments of heroism in the whole sorry saga."—The Ecologist
Naoto Kan is the former Prime Minister of Japan. He is an adviser on renewable energy for Japan's Technical Committee on Renewable Energy.
The Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Disaster and the Future of Renewable Energy
In a speech delivered in Japanese at Cornell University, Naoto Kan describes the harrowing days after a cataclysmic earthquake and tsunami led to the meltdown of three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. In vivid language, he tells how he struggled with the possibility that tens of millions of people would need to be...