Musical activists are opposing a Japanese nuclear reprocessing plant. What’s in it for you: free musical downloads opposing contamination by nuclear radiation. (Any pro-radiation readers will have to look elsewhere.) Nuclear reprocessing is a way of reclaiming spent nuclear fuels. Sounds great, right — recycling and whatnot? Unfortunately, there are serious risks involved. The plant, Rokkasho-mura reprocessing plant in Japan’s Aomori Prefecture, is under fire because:
- Just two weeks into testing, after the plant opened last year, radioactive water containing plutonium and uranium spilled inside the plant.
- According to a recent report, this particular plant has a design flaw that makes it susceptible to Japan’s frequent earthquakes — and the plant maker is alleged to have kept this flaw secret for eleven years.
- Reprocessing in general has been criticized for increasing the risk of global nuclear terrorism.
- Using nuclear energy as a power source poses numerous risks throughout the fuel cycle both in terms of the environment and terror targets.
- Personally, they had me at the radioactive water.
Music with political agendas has been controversial among readers of this site. But when high-profile musicians like Ryuichi Sakamoto are organizing musical protests, and the likes of Kraftwerk contribute songs, there’s no question these events have an impact. In this case, you can listen to a podcast, learn about the issues involved, and download a huge string of music. And maybe that’s not forcing anything — music has the power to evoke strong emotions and deep attachments. All around the world, it’s been employed on various sides of political issues. Agree or not, there’s no keeping musicians out of debates — little surprise, given our vocation is literally making noise.
As for this issue in question, I find every time I open my mouth on an issue, there’s an expert lurking in the wings to speak up. So please do. When I was working on behalf of international human rights and more transparent global trade policy (really; I’ve had some unusual hobbies), a staffer once joked that [unnamed organization] was opposed to energy in all its forms. Indeed, whereas nuclear power was once hailed for being environmentally friendly, its tendency to produce massively dangerous waste that’s nearly impossible to get rid of has now made it arguably one of the worst forms of energy. In this case, if nothing else, this campaign is likely to increase oversight of such projects in Japan.
But regardless of how you feel, I hope you enjoy the tunes.