Hanford

He survived atomic bombing of Nagasaki. Now he’s visiting Hanford

A massive column of billowing smoke, thousands of feet high, mushrooms over Nagasaki, Japan, after the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Aug. 9, 1945. A B-29 plane delivered the blast killing approximately 70,000 people, with thousands dying later of radiation effects.
A massive column of billowing smoke, thousands of feet high, mushrooms over Nagasaki, Japan, after the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Aug. 9, 1945. A B-29 plane delivered the blast killing approximately 70,000 people, with thousands dying later of radiation effects. AP

A survivor of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945, is coming to the Hanford nuclear reservation and the Mid-Columbia on a mission of peace.

It is believed to be the first visit to the area by a Nagasaki bombing survivor, said Jim Stoffels, chairman of World Citizens for Peace.

Mitsugi Moriguchi was a child when the bomb, loaded with plutonium produced at Hanford, was dropped on Nagasaki, helping end World War II.

The bomb killed more than 70,000 people and resulted in radiation-related sicknesses.

The intersection of health concerns of the people of Nagasaki and those who lived downwind or downriver of Hanford during its plutonium production years will be the focus of Moriguchi’s visit.

The visit, which will be paid for in part by the city of Nagasaki, is sponsored by Consequences of Radiation Exposure, or CORE, a Washington state nonprofit organization.

Moriguchi and a Nagasaki University student will spend two days at Whitman College in Walla Walla.

The public is invited to a screening of the 2003 Japanese film “Hibakusha at the End of the World” at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Maxey Auditorium at the college, followed by a discussion.

On Wednesday, Moriguchi will participate in a panel discussion at 7 p.m. in the Maxey Auditorium.

No public events are scheduled for Thursday.

Moriguchi will visit some farmland where radioactive iodine from Hanford was carried by the wind decades ago.

He also will see the model of the “Bell of Peace” sent by the Nagasaki mayor to the city of Richland.

The original bell, a symbol of peace in Nagasaki, was recovered near ground zero from the ruins of Urakami Cathedral and run to console the survivors.

On Friday, Moriguchi will start the day with a private tour of Hanford’s B Reactor.

The public can attend a screening of “Hibakusha” and a talk by Moriguchi at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Washington State University Tri-Cities auditorium in the East Building on the Richland campus.

Hibakusha refers to human victims of radiation, and the film includes footage not only of Japan and Hanford, but also Iraq, where depleted uranium munitions were used in 2003.

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