From the beginning of the use of nuclear power to produce electricity 60 years ago, the nuclear industry has been protected from paying the full costs of its failures. Governments have created a system that protects the profits of companies while those who suffer from nuclear disasters end up paying the costs.
The disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in March 2011 proves again that industry profits and people pay. Almost two years after the release of massive amounts of radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster, hundreds of thousands of people are still exposed to the long-term radioactive contamination caused by the accident. The daily lives of victims are disrupted. They have lost their homes, their jobs, their businesses, their farms, their communities, and a way of life they enjoyed.
This new Greenpeace report demonstrates how the nuclear sector evades responsibility for its failures. The nuclear industry is unlike any other industry: it is not required to fully compensate its victims for the effects of its large, long-lasting, and trans-boundary disasters. In this report, the current status of compensation for victims of the Fukushima disaster is analysed as an example of the serious problems due to lack of accountability for nuclear accidents. The report also looks into the role of nuclear suppliers in the failure of the Fukushima reactors.
We learned from Fukushima that nuclear power can never be safe. The nuclear industry, largely protected from the financial liability for the Fukushima accident, continues to do business, while the Fukushima victims still lack proper compensation and support. Would things be different if the next big nuclear disaster happened in your country? You would likely be facing the very same problems. We have to phase out dangerous nuclear power entirely, and do so as soon as possible. Yet, if there is another major nuclear accident, people could be given better protection if we hold the nuclear industry fully accountable and liable. We need to learn the lessons from Fukushima, and change the system in order to make all companies in the nuclear industry responsible for the risks they create.