Ten years ago, when the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident polluted even our seas, the weekly walk for nuclear denuclearization began. Following the anti-nuclear movement that introduced Won Buddhism to the world, the Life, Peace, and Nuclear Disarmament Pilgrimage celebrates its 501st anniversary on June 27th after the 500th. After 10 years of stacking up by Won Buddhism, neighboring religions, and Yeonggwang County citizens, they have also dreamed of a world where they no longer need to walk due to the shutdown of nuclear power plants.
The nuclear denuclearization pilgrimage, which started in November 1997 and takes the 501st step on June 27, has given rise to the nuclear power plant of Yeonggwang, a sacred site of Won Buddhism. Whether it rained or snowed every week or month, it was a step I had always followed. Yeonggwang Diocese, Gwangju-Jeonnam Diocese, Jeonbuk Diocese, Yeongsan Community, and Won Buddhism Environmental Solidarity are working together, and neighboring religions, citizens of Yeonggwang County, and Jeollanam-do residents have also been working together.
In the past 10 years, when policies have changed depending on the government, accidents, big and small, have been constant. In particular, Hanbit Unit 1, which was operated in 1971 and had been operating for 37 years this year, is vulnerable to the recent climate crisis and natural disasters. Following the collective shutdown of the nuclear reactors of Kori units, 1 to 4 and Shin-Kori units 1 and 2 in Wonki 105, the East Sea wildfire in December last year approached the immediate vicinity of the Uljin nuclear power plant. Despite this, they are threatening the lives of local residents by promoting the extension of the lifespan of old nuclear power plants based only on economic feasibility.
Jeonggwanpyeong, the main gate of the Yeongsan Holy Land, and the Hanbit Nuclear Power Plant are 9.9km in a straight line. Even a minor accident can cause fatal damage to sacred sites and schools. Accordingly, the nuclear denuclearization pilgrimage has signaled the dangers of aging nuclear power plants and has called for permanent closure as promised. Along with the expedition for life, peace, and denuclearization, there were also prayers to commemorate Fukushima, a one-man demonstration, a bus denuclearization, and a statement announcement. In the 400th life-peaceful denuclearization pilgrimage in 105 years of rejuvenation, they urged Yeonggwang County to declare RE100 glory.
On the other hand, the denuclearization pilgrimage also touched and gave potential to neighboring religions that shouted for life and peace together. Accordingly, the voyage continued in Seoul, which is difficult to feel because it is far from a nuclear power plant despite having the largest population. The five religious and environmental conferences on the Seoul Road Escape from Nuclear Pilgrimage are held monthly in downtown Seoul.