Greenpeace Stages “Sudden Death” to Oppose Expansion of Nuclear Power in Hong Kong

Press release - 2010-10-31
In response to the Environmental Protection Department’s proposal to increase nuclear power to 50% of Hong Kong’s energy mix by 2020, Greenpeace organized a 10-minute ‘die-in’ action today at the Mong Kok Pedestrian Precinct. Thirty activists suddenly collapsed on the ground to simulate “Sudden Death” to deliver a striking warning of the sudden disasters that nuclear power plant accidents can bring. Through this action, Greenpeace hopes to raise Hong Kong’s recognition of nuclear power as a severe threat to public safety.

Say NO to nuclear expansion!

At the same time, Greenpeace kicked off a series of activities to collect signatures for a No Nuclear petition.

Greenpeace Campaigner Prentice Koo criticized the government for its disregard for the safety of its citizens, as exhibited in its one-sided, incomplete and misleading portrayal of nuclear power.

He said, “Expanding this dangerous, high-polluting energy source will only cause Hong Kong to fall behind in the worldwide race to improve energy efficiency and develop renewable energy. The government must immediately fully disclose the site selection for the nuclear power plant and make a computer modeling to evaluate the threat and danger to Hong Kong in the potential scenario of a nuclear plant accident.”

Greenpeace will display placards, nuclear waste drums, and photographs of victims of nuclear radiation while activists in hazmat suits distribute leaflets at the activity.

Only one month remains in the public consultation period for Hong Kong’s Climate Change Strategy and Action Agenda, yet most citizens do not understand the proposal to expand nuclear power. Koo condemns the government for failing to make public such critical issues as the nuclear plant’s site selection.

With current technology, it is possible to predict via computer modeling the extent, casualties, and number of people exposed to varying levels of radiation in the scenario of a nuclear accident. Koo believes that it is highly irresponsible of the government to fail to provide this information to the public in the proposal’s consultation period.

“Nuclear plants have a lifespan of at least 50 years, and Hong Kong citizens will not believe nuclear power is safe just because Mr Edward Yau said so,” explained Koo. “As technology can model the potential threat of a nuclear accident, the Environmental Protection Department thus has the obligation to provide such results and data for the public. If nuclear power is expanded, ‘sudden death’ may very well be a reality in the case of a nuclear accident.”

For the next four weeks, Greenpeace will run the No Nuclear for Hong Kong campaign, with the goal of making the public aware of the government’s nuclear-expansion proposal and collect signatures for a No Nuclear petition.


No Nuclear for Hong Kong will take place on Sundays (Oct 31, Nov 7, Nov 14, and Nov 21) at the Mong Kok Pedestrian Precinct.

Join Greenpeace’s Facebook group Say No to Nuclear in Hong Kong

International modeling of nuclear power plant accidents (for reference):