Greenpeace files FOI request for Japanese nuclear plant meltdown scenario

Press release - October 28, 2011
Tokyo, Japan, October 28, 2011 – Greenpeace today lodged a freedom of information request (FOI) with Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, demanding that existing scenario maps covering nuclear disasters at plants, including the Ohi 3 reactor in Fukui, be released, so that local authorities and the public can better assess the risks to be faced from potential future nuclear disasters.

“The overwhelming majority of Japanese people do not want nuclear energy, yet the government keeps telling them that it is both safe and necessary – neither of which is true,” said Hisayo Takada, Greenpeace Japan Climate and Energy campaigner. “If the government wants to reopen nuclear plants around the country, it must clearly show that it has strong emergency plans ready, and properly inform the communities surrounding the plants of the risks they face should another meltdown occur.”

Kansai Electric Power Co (KEPCO), the utility operating the Ohi nuclear power plant, filed its own safety assessment of its Ohi no.3 nuclear reactor to the nuclear safety authority today, highlighting the speed at which utilities are trying to get their reactors back online. Prime Minister Noda himself has stated that Japan must switch its reactors back on as soon as possible (1).

“Greenpeace is very concerned that Japan’s central government will push through nuclear reactor restarts without doing a proper assessment of its own, without learning key lessons from the Fukushima disaster, and without upgrading the emergency planning and evacuation procedures which proved totally insufficient and unreliable during the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi,” said Jan Vande Putte, Greenpeace International Nuclear Campaigner. 

Only 11 of Japan’s 54 nuclear reactors were operational during the summer peak, and many coal and gas plants were also idled following earthquake damage. However, the major supply problems predicted by the utilities did not materialise, and TEPCO and other utilities are already saying that no supply problems are expected for the coming winter.

“The power output from Japan’s reactors has not been greatly missed. If ever there was a time to slow down and properly weigh up risks of nuclear technology against the huge benefit renewable technology can provide - it is now (2),” concluded Vande Putte.

Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment, and to promote peace.

Contacts: 
Greg McNevin, Greenpeace International Communications, , +81 80 5416 6507
Kaoru Narisawa, Greenpeace Japan Communications, , +81 80 6558 4446
Greenpeace International Press Desk Hotline, Amsterdam +31 20 7182470

Notes:
1) The Mayor of Ohi has said he would say yes to restart of Ohi reactors 3 and 4. http://www.sankeibiz.jp/compliance/news/111025/cpd1110251119012-n1.htm

In a recent press conference, Prime Minister Noda said "I will make political judgement on restart after the stress test considering the local agreements andpublic opinions." http://mainichi.jp/select/seiji/news/20111018ddm005010148000c.html 

2) Greenpeace’s Advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario for Japan illustrates how all nuclear reactors can be taken offline immediately without significant impact, and how rapid scaling up of renewable technology can revitalise Japan’s energy sector as well as its flagging economy. The full report for Japan can be found here: http://www.greenpeace.org/japan/Global/japan/pdf/er_report.pdf

A summary can be found here: http://www.greenpeace.org/japan/Global/japan/pdf/er_summary_eng.pdf

Categories