Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior to conduct radiation monitoring of sea life in Japan

Press release - 2011-04-21
Greenpeace today announced that its flagship, the Rainbow Warrior, has departed Taiwan for Japan to conduct contamination tests on seawater and marine life in the area surrounding the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

"Japan relies heavily on the ocean to feed itself, and given the continual leaking of radioactive water into the marine environment - including TEPCO's release of huge quantities of contaminated water (1) - it is critical that independent testing is undertaken, in order to assess the true extent of the contamination and the possible impacts on public health and the food web," said Junichi Sato, Greenpeace Japan Executive Director.

"We have informed Japan's government and are currently working through the appropriate channels to ensure we can add marine research to the radiation monitoring already carried by our land-based teams in the Fukushima area (2)", said Sato. "Tens of thousands of people remain at risk from the radiation released by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant - we wish to continue providing independent data and assessments that will help people in the Fukushima area make the right decisions to protect their lives and livelihoods".

Greenpeace's Rainbow Warrior ships have a history of peacefully challenging the reckless use of nuclear technology (3), and with the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster approaching, Greenpeace hopes that the ship's work in the Fukushima area - one of its last voyages before retirement and the launch of the Rainbow Warrior III - will aid the crisis response effort, raise public awareness of the risks of nuclear technology, and move the world towards a future powered by only renewable sources of energy.

The ship is currently expected to reach Japanese waters and begin testing on the 27th or 28th of April.

Contacts

Greg McNevin, Greenpeace International Communications, in Tokyo:

+81 80 3930 3341

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

For photography and video from the radiation monitoring: Greenpeace Picture Desk (Amsterdam):

jnovis [at] greenpeace.org, +31(0) 629001152

Greenpeace International Video Desk (Amsterdam):

lucy.campbell.jackson [at] greenpeace.org, +31 6 46 16 2015

For more on Greenpeace's work in Fukushima, visit:

http://t.co/csFsCvF

Receive Greenpeace International press releases via Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/greenpeacepress

Raw data sheets from field monitoring:

http://www.greenpeace.org/fukushima-data

Notes

1) Wall Street Journal: Japan Discloses Data on Radioactive Water Release

2) Three Greenpeace mobile field teams have now carried out radiation measurements outside the 20km mandatory evacuation zone around the Fukushima nuclear plant. Two teams focused on mapping surface contamination and the third on food & milk testing. During March 27 and 28, radiation monitoring was conducted in Iitate village and Namie region. Between April 4 and 8 the teams conducted detailed measurements as well as food and soil analysis in Fukushima City, Koriyama City, Minamisoma, Namie, Iitate, and many places in between

A detailed and annotated Google map of locations and radiation readings compiled by the Greenpeace team can be found here: http://bit.ly/gaMGnf

Raw data sheets from field monitoring can be found at: http://www.greenpeace.org/fukushima-data

3) Launched in London in April, 1978, the original Rainbow Warrior became a global symbol in Greenpeace's long-running campaign against nuclear weapons testing, and ever since she has been at the forefront of the peaceful anti-nuclear movement. In 1985 she evacuated some 300 Marshall Islanders from Rongelap Atoll, which was contaminated by American nuclear tests in the Pacific Proving Grounds. Soon after she travelled to New Zealand to lead a flotilla against French nuclear testing at Mururoa Atoll, only to be sunk by French agents at port on July 9, 1985. The Rainbow Warrior II was launched on in 1989, four years to the day after the bombing. It has now spent over 20 years campaigning on many issues around the world, including again confronting French nuclear testing in 1996 and forcing it to abandon the practice. She is now approaching her recommended decommissioning date, after which she will be replaced by the purpose-built Rainbow Warrior III.

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