September 3, 2021
10th testimony of Fonzy, 10 years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Thanks to her for continuing to give us news! The vigilance, even if it is less assiduous, is always necessary.
I have been silent for several years. I am fine, I still live in the same place, 280 km from the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
Since the accident of the power plant, 10 years have passed. I must confess that it is difficult to be always on the alert, or in a state of alert all the time. Little by little, I am letting go of the restrictions I had imposed on myself. There are still some things I continue to do, for example:
- Wearing a mask
In 2011, I wore an N95 mask every time I went to Tokyo, even in summer when it was 35 C. Since the N95 mask is expensive, I have been wearing a “normal” mask since 2012, and I still continue to this day. Right now, the mask is almost mandatory even in my neighborhood because of Covid 19.
- More mushrooms
Shiitake, button mushroom, oyster mushroom,… well all kinds of mushrooms are gone from the table. From time to time, I miss Shiitake, but it will not be fatal not to eat mushrooms. On the other hand, eating mushrooms could be…
- Buying products from southwestern Japan
I normally buy vegetables that are produced beyond 500 km from the Daiichi plant. The same goes for fruits. In other words, I buy broccoli from Kyoto, but not lettuce from Chiba (250 km). I used to avoid products from the south of Nagano (300 km from Daiichi) or Gifu (400 km from Daiichi), but now I occasionally buy fruits produced there.
- Eating in restaurants as little as possible
In the early years, I almost never ate in restaurants. When I was forced to attend a party with colleagues, I tried not to eat anything, as it was said that Fukushima products (which should not exceed the limit of 100 Bq/kg) were used in catering. Starting in 2015 or ’16, I began to dine once every two or three months in restaurants that I chose well and that served us products from Kyushu or Shikoku, regions that are in the southwest of Japan.
- Avoiding the rain
I used to like to walk without an umbrella in the rain, especially with a light rain. After Fukushima, as soon as I feel a drop, I open my umbrella. I always have my umbrella when it might rain later in the day. So I always pay close attention to the weather.
Now I tell you what I don’t do anymore.
- Mineral water
Until March 2021, we only drink mineral water, we only use mineral water to make soup, stew, in short everything that is to be eaten at home. However, the water bottles are heavy, we have to go to the supermarket quite often to buy a box of six bottles that we consume quite quickly. It’s not free either… So we decided to stop using mineral water for cooking. We still drink the mineral water whose radioactivity is measured.
Mineral water: cesium and iodine are measured by the gamma spectrometer (Photo Fonzy). The bottle on the left costs 0.6 euros, the bottle on the right 2.15 euros.
For at least eight years after the accident we did not eat fish. However, my partner had colon cancer in 2019, and afterwards he preferred to eat “lightly”, so we resumed the habit of eating fish. I mostly buy fish from southwestern Japan, but occasionally I buy fish from a port near our home, because they are much fresher. I avoid fish from the shallow waters such as sole or turbot.
- Geiger counter
I walked around with my Geiger counter a lot in 2011, and a little less in 2012, and now … I don’t know where it is anymore, maybe in a drawer, but I haven’t seen it for years. I wonder if my friends who had one still use it.
- Anti-nuclear demonstrations
For two or three years after Fukushima, there were many anti-nuclear demonstrations organized not only in Tokyo but also throughout Japan. We shouted in front of the Tepco headquarters, in front of the Parliament, in the streets, we were very numerous at one time. There were activists who made anti-nuclear mobilizations every Friday night in front of the Parliament. This was a success for some time. I too participated often, especially in 2011 and 2012. However, they stopped their movement for good in March 2021 because there were, according to them, much less participants lately and they had no budget to continue. Now anti-nuclear demonstrations are very rare, although there are still some who mobilize from time to time. It seems to me that we Japanese are not very demonstrative. We’ll see…
- Convincing the others
Even though I talked to my friends and relatives about the risks of contamination and the dangers of nuclear power plants, it was almost impossible to convince them to be interested in this kind of problems.
That’s it. I do what I think I can do without too much stress. Still thinking about Fukushima is possible, but now we should have more imagination, because we don’t talk about it anymore. I thank those who continue to think about Fukushima despite so much geographical distance and so many years passed. Thank you for your solidarity.