Greenpeace Responds to Japan Nuclear Radiation Release

Press release - 2011-03-12
Releasing any amount of radiation into the atmosphere risks the health of people in the surrounding area. The fact that the Fukushima nuclear power plant is leaking, or has been forced to deliberately release, contaminated gases from the reactor into the atmosphere means that all of the physical protection that was supposed to isolate radioactivity from the environment has failed.

Map of the nuclear power plants in the region of Fukushima, Japan

Tokyo, 12 March, 2011 - Reacting to reports that the Tokyo Electric Power Co authorised to release nuclear radiation from the Fukushima power plant and that increased levels of radiation have been detected at the plant, Jan Beranek, Greenpeace International Head of Nuclear Campaign said:

"Releasing any amount of radiation into the atmosphere risks the health of people in the surrounding area. The fact that the Fukushima nuclear power plant is leaking, or has been forced to deliberately release, contaminated gases from the reactor into the atmosphere means that all of the physical protection that was supposed to isolate radioactivity from the environment has failed."

"How many more warnings do people need to get before they understand that nuclear reactors are inherently hazardous?" asked Beranek.  "We are told by the nuclear industry that things like this cannot happen with modern reactors, yet today Japan is in the middle of a nuclear crises with potentially devastating consequences."

"While the immediate focus is on minimising radiation release and keeping local people safe, this is yet another reminder of the inherent risks of nuclear power, which will always be vulnerable to a potentially deadly combination of human error, design failure and natural disaster."

"Greenpeace is calling for the the phase out of existing reactors, and no construction of new commercial nuclear reactors. Governments should invest in renewable energy resources that are not only environmentally sound but also affordable and reliable."

Notes:

Japan has 54 rectors in total in 18 power plants, with 47,000MW installed capacity which generated 29 percent of electricity supply in 2010.  Four nuclear power plants located on the eastern coast close to the epicenter were affected: Onagawa (3 reactors), Fukushima-Daiichi (6 reactors), Fukushima-Daini (4 reactors) and Tokai (1 reactor).  The next nearest nuclear power plant is Kashiwazaki-Kariwa (7 reactors) that sits on the opposite site of the island, on its western coast.

For more information on how Japan can phase out nuclear energy please read Japan Energy [R]evolution scenario: http://www.energyblueprint.info/japan.0.html

Other contacts:

Greenpeace International Press Desk Hotline:
+31 (0) 20 7182470

Jan Beranek, Greenpeace International Head of Nuclear Campaign:
+ 31 (0) 651 109 558

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