Amsterdam, March 7, 2012 - Just days before Japan marks the anniversary of March 11, 2011 tsunami and the nuclear disaster that followed, leaders from more than 50 organisations and prominent individuals from all around the world today released an open letter to world leaders calling for investments in safe, renewable energy in order to end to the threat of nuclear power and put protecting people ahead of protecting the nuclear industry. (1)
The signatories include: Archbishop Dr. Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Laureate; Marina Silva, former Brazilian Environment Minister; Senator Bob Brown, Australian Green Party Leader; John Hall, former US Congressman; Richard Harvey, international Human Rights lawyer; several artists; leaders of human rights, labour, development and environment organisations, such as Action Aid International, Health Care without Harm, Greenpeace International, Friends of the Earth US, CIVICUS, the Feminist Task Force of the Global Call to Action against Poverty, and many national non-governmental organisations.
The letter begins: “On behalf of the millions of people in the world who live with the threat of a nuclear disaster ruining their lives, we are writing to ask you to recognize that now is the time to put people ahead of the nuclear industry and hold the industry fully liable for the risks and damages of its disasters. It is time to remove the risks of nuclear from people’s lives and shift our economies to clean, safe energy systems.”
The impacts of the nuclear disaster at Fukushima continue for hundreds of thousands in Japan. They are exposed to radioactive contamination, displaced from their homes, dislocated from their communities, have lost their jobs and live with the ongoing fear that their children may suffer from the long-term effects of radiation exposure. This kind of suffering would be repeated in any country where there is a nuclear disaster.
The letter notes that the Fukushima nuclear disaster was a result of the failure of institutions in Japan to protect people from such an accident. These institutional failures are repeated in every country with nuclear reactors, putting millions at risk, because governments “are more concerned about protecting the profits of the nuclear industry than in fulfilling their responsibility to protect people.”
Greenpeace will send the open letter to world leaders to encourage them to remove the risks of nuclear power from the world.
Greg McNevin, Greenpeace International Communications,
, +81 80 5416 6507
Brian Blomme, Greenpeace International Communications,
, +31 06 1883 0281
Greenpeace International Press Desk Hotline, Amsterdam +31 2 0718 2470
1) Link to the open letter to world leaders: www.greenpeace.org/fukushima-open-letter