Top news: Tepco’s plans to cool down the reactor increases the risk for explosions and leaks; Germany: the nationwide protest against nuclear energy reaches the top of the Zugspitze.

© Greenpeace Germany

#Nuclear: Residents have been moved further away from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant as the no-go zone is extended, and Japanese engineers abandoned their latest attempt to stabilise a stricken reactor at the Fukushima plant. At the same time, the leakage of radioactive material continues to spread, and "radioactive contamination is accumulating in the marine ecosystem that provides Japan with a quarter of its seafood," as Ike Teuling, Greenpeace radiation expert, said in a statement.

Greenpeace is still independently monitoring radioactive levels in the area, and Goshi Hosono, a special adviser to Prime Minister Naoto Kan on the nuclear crisis, said the government would look into the finding by Greenpeace. Given government assurances, we think that “yet the authorities are still doing very little to protect public health”.

Following our contamination monitoring, Greenpeace said ten of its seaweed samples had shown radiation levels over 10,000 Bq/kg, over the safety limit. This is particularly alarming for the area, because some types of seaweed are a staple of the Japanese diet, and the seaweed harvesting season is due to begin.

The condition of N1 Fukushima reactor is far from safe, and further massive leaks are still a big risk for the population. Tepco’s plan to cool down the reactor is to flood it with water (that needs to be dumped somewhere, representing a real contamination threat for soil and sea), and as John Large, an independent nuclear engineering consultant in London, said this plan is riddled with "potential risks". As Shaun Burnie, nuclear adviser to Greenpeace Germany, said: "Flooding a reactor that has fuel [that has fallen] through the pressure vessel is not a good idea", because this increases the risk of an explosion that can create an atmospheric release running for days or more.

#Energy [R]evolution: Greenpeace activists demonstrated nationwide on Saturday in Germany, including on Germany’s highest mountain, the Zugspitze. Activist deployed on the top of the mountain, always an important scene of actions for climate protection, a banner saying: “Our future is renewable”. The action is part of the energy [R]evolution campaign, and demands the closure of German nuclear power plants.