Prithviraj Chavan invited to visit Fukushima

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Press release - January 26, 2014
Mumbai, January 24th, 2014: Ahead of India's discussion with Japan on nuclear cooperation, Greenpeace Japan and Greenpeace India have jointly invited Prithviraj Chavan, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, to visit Fukushima. The Fukushima witness tour will take place next month and will focus on the impact of the nuclear disaster on the locals. Mr. Chavan has been requested to be part of a 20-member group participating from more than 5 countries around the world.

Extending the invitation, the Executive Director of Greenpeace India, Samit Aich said, "The debate with nuclear technology is not just limited to the parameters of economics. Aspects of human cost as well as environmental cost and its impact on the society need to be considered. The idea of inviting the Chief Minster on the tour is to show him social, economical, political, emotional and health effects of nuclear technology. Fukushima is a live example of post-nuclear disaster society. With this tour we hope that the Chief Minster can see the other side of reality."

According to Karuna Raina, Greenpeace Campaigner and radiation protection expert, "The problems with radiological decontamination of a city are huge and they get multiplied when we talk about a whole prefecture. In Tamura city, in about a year's time, 1,300 workers per day have been carrying out decontamination work in residential areas as well part of forests. In terms of sheer volume of work, they tried decontaminating 228,249 sq. mtrs of buildings, 95.6 km of roads, 1,274,021 sq. mtrs of farmland and 1,921,546 sq. mtrs of forests and this is just a small fraction of the area which needs to be cleaned. If Japan is struggling to cope, how would India manage?"

Fukushima nuclear park consist of six Boiling Water Reactors with a combined electrical generation of 4,600 MW whereas Jaitapur nuclear park is proposed to house six Pressurized Water Reactors with a combined electrical generation of 9,900 MW making it the largest proposed nuclear reactor park in the world. Fukushima nuclear reactors were supplied by GE and Hitachi whereas nuclear reactors in Jaitapur will be supplied by AREVA.

"Despite the expert committee findings that Fukushima nuclear disaster was caused due to deliberate negligence as well as a flawed design, yet it is not the supplier or the operator paying the cost, it is the tax payer who is paying for compensation as well as for the clean-up," said Ms. Raina.

We hope that our government shows interest and keenness in learning from such examples. The Fukushima Witness Tour will not only provide a unique perspective but also make a case that nuclear technology is not a smart investment.

Please click here to go through the Invitation Letter - http://www.greenpeace.org/india/Global/india/image/2014/Invitation%20Letter.pdf

For further information, please contact:

Karuna Raina, Nuclear and Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace India, +91-9901799669,

Hozefa Merchant, Nuclear and Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace India, +91-9819592410,

Seema Javed, Senior Media Officer, +91-9910059765,

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