Greenpeace Response to Growing Troubles at Fukushima Nuclear Reactors

Crisis at Fukushima I/Daiichi and Fukushima II/Daini Plants

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Press release - March 13, 2011
Tokyo, 13 March, 2011 – Reacting to ongoing reports of cooling problems and the continuing release of radioactive materials from the Fukushima I/Daiichi and Fukushima II/Diani Plants, Jan Beranek, Head of Greenpeace International’s Nuclear Campaign said:

“Our thoughts remain with the Japanese people, who in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami are now faced with a dreadful situation, where instead of being able to plough all resources into rescue and relief efforts, the government is dealing with a crisis caused by the inherent and inescapable risks of nuclear power.”

“Over the last day we have seen the crisis deepening, with the cores of reactors 1, 2 and 3 at Fukushima 1 probably some level of melting. Now we find ourselves in a deep nuclear crisis that is in serious danger of turning into a nuclear catastrophe. What we are hearing from both Japanese and French nuclear authorities suggest that the levels of contamination are becoming significant – this implies a potential risk to human health.” 

“We commend the heroism of the nuclear workers fighting to stabilize the current crisis, and seriously risking their health through exposure to radiation during what already appears to be second worst civilian nuclear reactor incident in history, after Chernobyl”.

“Greenpeace continues to be concerned about the lack of information and transparency which is hindering assessments of the crisis at the Fukushima power plant, in particular the amount and kind of radiation that has already been released, or whether the pools with highly radioactive spent fuel are secured from releasing additional radiation.”

“What we are being told yet again by this crisis is that nuclear reactors are a dirty and dangerous power source, and will always be vulnerable to the potentially deadly combination of human error, design failure and natural disaster. Greenpeace is calling for the phase out of existing reactors around the world, and no construction of new commercial nuclear reactors. Governments should instead invest in renewable energy resources that are not only environmentally sound but also affordable and reliable.”

CONTACTS:Greenpeace International Press Desk Hotline +31 (0) 20 7182470Jan Beranek, Greenpeace International Head of Nuclear Campaign: + 31 (0) 651 109 558

Notes:ASN French Nuclear Authority Statement 14/03/2011Délibération n° 2011-DL-0020 de l’ASN du 14 mars 2011 relative à la situation au Japon

Background: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