Crew from the Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior joined the Korean Federation for Environmental Movement and Yeongwang residents in unfolding banners calling for increased nuclear safety and eventually the phase out of nuclear energy in Korea.
The city of Yeongwang, site of six nuclear reactors, is the first stop of the Rainbow Warrior's tour for a nuclear-free Korea. Residents, who came onboard the ship, said they fear for the safety of the reactors built 25 years ago and the waste generated by the facility
"The government should listen to people's demands for increased safety measures in this nuclear power plant," said Mike Fincken, captain of the Rainbow Warrior. "However, nuclear energy is inherently dangerous. Only by phasing out nuclear power plants and replacing them with clean renewable energy can there be real safety and energy security."
"Like Germany in the west, high-technology Korea can lead the energy revolution in the east by shutting down nuclear reactors and investing heavily in renewable energy," Fincken added.
The Rainbow Warrior is currently sailing around Korea on its "Nuclear-Free Korea" campaign, visiting communities around nuclear plants, including candidate sites, and showing solidarity for communities living under the constant threat of a nuclear meltdown. The ship recently bore witness to the horrors of the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, Japan.
The Korean Federation for Environmental Movement (KFEM) has joined the tour, organizing forums amongst local communities that are concerned about nuclear energy.
Greenpeace is one of the most influential environmental organizations in the world with 41 offices across Asia, Europe, Africa, the Americas and the Pacific. Currently celebrating its 40th founding anniversary, Greenpeace recently inaugurated its Seoul office that will introduce campaigns on climate and energy as well as protection of our oceans.