Fukushima: Nuclear shutdown needed - not cold shutdown PR smokescreen

Press release - 16 December, 2011
Tokyo, December 16, 2011 — Responding to today’s announcement by the Japanese government and officials from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant operator TEPCO that the reactor has reached cold shutdown status, Junichi Sato, Executive Director of Greenpeace Japan said:

“By triumphantly declaring a cold shutdown, the Japanese authorities are clearly anxious to give the impression that the crisis has come to an end, which is clearly not the case. Instead of creating a PR smokescreen to deflect attention away from the ongoing failure to help people living with the consequences of the disaster, the government’s priority should be to ensure public safety and begin the shutdown of all nuclear reactors in Japan.”

 “TEPCO has not achieved true cold shutdown - so neither the company nor the government should be claiming the job is almost done. Radiation is still escaping from the site, and the exact status of the tonnes of molten fuel remains unknown. Tens of thousands of tonnes of highly contaminated water remain in the reactor and turbine buildings, with some leaking into the ocean again last week. The ongoing radiological threat posed by the Fukushima nuclear disaster remains enormous.” 

“A large number of people continue to face the ongoing radiation risks of this disaster without sufficient support.  Nine months after the disaster, people whose homes and communities have been contaminated by radiation are still waiting for help from their government and compensation from TEPCO. So far only 35 houses have been decontaminated out of the thousands of contaminated houses in Fukushima city, just 60 kilometres from the disaster site. Greenpeace’s most recent radiological testing found that there are many hotspots in the city and that decontamination efforts have so far been inadequate.”

Ends

Contacts:

Yuki Sekimoto, Greenpeace Japan Communications, ,

+81 80 5088 3048

Brian Blomme, Greenpeace International Communications Manager, 

 +31 (0) 6 188 30 281

Jan Vande Putte, Greenpeace Energy Campaigner,  

+ 32 496 16 1584

Greenpeace International Press Desk Hotline, Amsterdam +31 20 7182470