At just over 25 meters from stem to stern, and 140 tons, the wooden long-line tuna-fishing boat Daigo Fukuryu Maru (No. 5 Lucky Dragon) is hardly imposing.

Yet despite its diminutive size for an ocean-going vessel, in March 1954 the Lucky Dragon's encounter with radioactive fallout from a U.S. hydrogen-bomb test spurred shock and indignation of titanic proportions, straining Japan's cozy diplomatic and commercial ties with the United States.

Eventually, the Lucky Dragon emerged — along with the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki — as an enduring symbol of protest against the insanity of populating this small planet with untold thousands of nuclear devices capable of expunging all life on Earth. And since last year's reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the boat has embarked on yet another voyage — as a vivid reminder of the dangers of "peaceful" nuclear technology.