Tokyo, 12 April, 2011 – Greenpeace today labelled the Japanese government’s decision to rate the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident INES level 7 – the same as the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster - as woefully late, and again called on it to immediately step up protective measures for affected populations.
"The history of the nuclear industry is littered of cover-ups and underplaying of the consequences of nuclear accidents. The industry both inside and outside Japan have again been underplaying the human consequences of this terrible tragedy, and only now after a month has this disaster been accepted for what it is - the worst on its scale”, said Thomas Breuer, Head of the Climate and Energy Unit at Greenpeace Germany. “But still, this is not the worst case scenario. As the industry still struggles to bring the stricken nuclear complex under control, much more radiation could be released”.
“What more warning could the world need to turn away from this deadly and dangerous technology, what more spur could there be to embrace an energy revolution based upon safe and secure renewable energy sources."
“Greenpeace has been calling for a level 7 rating for three weeks (2), however, as we have seen with evacuation zone around the nuclear plant, the government’s response is consistently lacking”.
“The Japanese government finally acknowledged how serious the situation is. It must fast track additional measures – such as the evacuation of pregnant women and children from densely populated areas like Fukushima City and Koriyama (3) - to protect the health and livelihoods of those affected by this disaster” concluded Breuer.
Greg McNevin, Greenpeace International Communications, in Tokyo, Japan +81 80 3930 3341
Greenpeace International Press Desk Hotline, Amsterdam +31 (0) 20 7182470
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Raw data sheets from field monitoring:
Greenpeace letter to Prime Minister Kan: http://www.greenpeace.org/japan/Global/japan/pdf/LetterToPM_ENG.pdf
(1) The International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale
(3) Greenpeace Fukushima radiation monitoring teams call for further evacuation:
Pregnant woman and children are more vulnerable to the damaging effects of radiation than the average adult person.
Greenpeace had two mobile field teams carrying out radiation measurements outside the 20km mandatory evacuation zone around the Fukushima nuclear plant. One team focused on a survey to map surface contamination and the other on food & milk testing. During March 27 and 28, radiation monitoring was conducted in Iitate village and Namie region. Between April 4 and 8 the teams conducted detailed measurements as well as food and soil analysis in Fukushima City, Koriyama City, Minamisoma, Namie, Iitate, and many places in between.
As part of the monitoring work, the team used a selection of standard radiation monitoring equipment:
- Gamma spectrometer: Exploranium GR-135
- LB 200 Becquerel monitor
- Geiger counters: Radex RD 1503, RadAlert
- Contamination monitors: RADOS MicroCont, Berthold UMO
A detailed and annotated Google map of locations and radiation readings compiled by the Greenpeace team can be found here http://bit.ly/gaMGnf
The Greenpeace radiation monitoring team was lead by Rianne Teule, Greenpeace International Energy Campaigner and radiation expert, the teams include Greenpeace Germany Climate and Energy Unit Head Thomas Breuer, Greenpeace Belgium radiation safety expert Jan van de Putte and Greenpeace International Logistics Manager and qualified radiation safety advisor, Nikki Westwood.
More detailed biographies including other members can be found here: http://t.co/sHYVSuy