This weekend some environmental groups near the San Onofre power plant will hold a vigil and a rally to mark the one-year anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan. And they’ll do it with the help of two Japanese guests who lived through the radioactive contamination that forced evacuation of the area.
The two Japanese guests, Hirohide Sakuma and Kyoko Sugasawa, became anti-nuclear activists after their homes became in danger. A deadly earthquake and a tsunami caused flooding, which forced a shutdown of the cooling system at the Fukushima plant.
Gary Headrick is co-founder of San Clemente Green, which is co-hosting this weekend's events. Headrick said he’s pleased to join with people who survived Fukushima.
"We're here to listen to them and to learn from them. But also to recognize how much suffering there is and to be compassionate," he said.
Sunday will be the anniversary of the earthquake and Tsunami, in which thousands of Japanese people died.
The San Onofre nuclear plant, in north San Diego County, has been shut down for about a month due to technical problems. Headrick said his group will march on San Onofre on Sunday.
"The purpose of the protest is to keep the power plant shut down and be sure, if they ever restart it, that they address some of the safety concerns that have already been learned from Fukushima,” he added.
Despite the devastation of last year’s disaster, nuclear regulators say no deaths were directly caused by the release of radiation from Fukushima. Saturday’s vigil takes place at the San Clemente Community Center.