Date published: 19 March 2012
The campaigners gathered in Littleborough
Rochdale and Littleborough Peace Group welcomed fellow peace campaigners from Japan, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Costa Rica, Norway, the USA over the weekend.
Local campaigners hosted delegates attending meetings of the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW), culminating in a meal at Rae Street’s house in Littleborough on Sunday evening.
ICBUW is a global coalition of 156 organisations in 32 countries throughout the world.
Their meeting renewed the call for a ban on the use, transport, manufacture, sale and export of all uranium weapons and called on the British government, in particular, to use its influence to persuade the USA to reveal where and when it has used such weapons and, thus where and when troops and civilians may have been contaminated by the resulting radiation.
Those attending the meal in Littleborough included Dr Katsumi Furitsu who is a medical expert on the effects of radiation.
She was very pleased to hear that the peace group’s recent ceilidh had raised funds for the Strong Children Japan project which is run by former Littleborough resident, Geoff Read.
Dr Furitsu highlighted the ongoing and very serious impact of the nuclear disaster following the explosion at the Fukushima nuclear power station in March 2011.
She said: “The situation in Japan remains extremely grave. Four million people are living in areas contaminated by levels of radiation above those we judge to be safe.
“Children especially remain at risk from radiation poisoning and the danger will be with us for many decades to come. Parents are rightly worried about the risk from contaminated foodstuffs and about whether the government and the nuclear industry is providing accurate information about the dangers posed by health problems such as thyroid cancers.
“Our experience in Japan tells us that nuclear power is too dangerous to use. The risks are too great. Throughout the world, we need to focus our attention and resources on developing alternative renewable energy sources not on building nuclear power stations that threaten the future of our planet and the lives of generations to come.”