Tributes were pouring in last night for the troubled No. 1 reactor at the heart of Japan’s nuclear meltdown crisis.
And as darkness fell, a crowd of atomic energy fans gathered outside the Fukushima Daichi power station for a candle-lit vigil, determined to express their ‘solidarity and love’ for the legendary uranium-fuelled generator.
“I just had to be here,” wept 38 year old Kyoko Tsukamoto outside the burning, radioactive facility, where a series of hydrogen explosions has threatened to send a column of white-hot uranium like a bolt of lightning to the earth’s core.
“People talk about crisis. They talk about disaster. I tell you what is disaster. It is to stand and see the only nuclear reactor I have ever cared for go up in flame.”
Japan reactor to be decommissioned
Since a powerful earthquake damaged the backup power systems at the nuclear plant, a steady stream of reactor fans has come to lay personal tributes at the scene.
Some brought fragrant branches of cherry blossom, others elegiac poems in the ancient haiku style.
A few performed elaborate mime dramas in praise of the burning energy facility. And across Japan prayers have been offered up for the safe recovery of Fukushima No. 1.
Some relief agencies have questioned the seeming obsession with the fate of a power station while tens of thousands of people struggle to survive the cumulative effects of an earthquake, a tsunami and a series of raging fires in the depths of a Japanese winter.
But the nation’s dedicated followers of fission have vowed to continue their emotional demonstration for ‘as long as it takes’ for the partially-destroyed reactor core to emerge from danger.
As one verse-tribute put it:
Reactor on fire
Lights the night of our black grief
Never mind that wave