Remember Fukushima - Don't Nuke ASEAN

Press release - March 5, 2012
Jakarta/Bangkok/Manila, 5th March 2012 - Greenpeace today launched a week-long series of activities across Southeast Asia for the global day of action to commemorate the first anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

In Indonesia, one hundred and six activists wearing radiation suits paraded through some of Jakarta’s most crowded locations including train stations, bus shelters, cafes, fast food restaurants and parks, to highlight the inherent dangers of nuclear energy, before assembling in front of Indonesia’s Ministry of Research and Technology to urge the government to drop their plans for nuclear energy.

In the Philippines, the Vice Mayor of Quezon City cut the ribbon to open Greenpeace’s month-long ‘Shadowlands’ photo exhibition in the Quezon City Hall lobby, documenting the human cost of Fukushima.

And, in Thailand, Greenpeace activists posted 60 billboards sized 1.2x2.5 meters each at 5 of Bangkok’s largest traffic intersections and staged Fukushima photo exhibitions at each location, to remind Bangkok’s public of the Fukushima disaster. Thirty-five activists bearing placards marched along the route and then paraded through the iconic Siam Square and Central World shopping malls.

Greenpeace also launched a ‘Call to Action’ for the ASEAN [1] to divert from the nuclear path it laid down in the Treaty of Bangkok [2] and repeal the nuclear development provision in the ASEAN Energy Cooperation Plan 2010-2015 [3].

“We invite all citizens of ASEAN member states to join Greenpeace in delivering a strong call to action to ASEAN leaders to learn from Fukushima. In order to secure a safe, clean energy future for the people of this region, they should drop their plans for nuclear energy and instead concentrate on enabling the rapid uptake of this region’s abundant clean, safe, renewable energy resources”, said Tara Buakamsri, Campaign Director for Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

Greenpeace will deliver the petition to ASEAN Heads of State at the end-March ASEAN Summit in Cambodia.

The Fukushima memorial activities will continue throughout the week, including ‘Shadowlands’ exhibitions in Manila and Jakarta and the launch of Greenpeace’s ‘Lessons from Fukushima’ report. The report shows that it was not a natural disaster that led to the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant on Japan’s east coast, but the failures of the Japanese Government, regulators and the nuclear industry. The key conclusion to be drawn from the report is that this human-made nuclear disaster could be repeated at any nuclear plant in the world, putting millions at risk.

Although nuclear plans have been delayed in the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand largely due to the huge public opposition following Fukushima, there is still a strong pro-nuclear industry lobby of ASEAN leaders.

"The Fukushima disaster was ultimately caused by the Japanese authorities choosing to ignore risks, and make business a higher priority than safety," said Buakamsri. “Nuclear energy is inherently unsafe. Just by keeping the nuclear power option open, the leaders of ASEAN’s member states continue expose the region’s 600 million people to the terrible risks. People should not be forced to live with the myth of nuclear safety and under the shadow of a nuclear disaster waiting to happen."

 

ENDS

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:

Tara Buakamsri Campaign Director
Greenpeace Southeast Asia


Notes:

1)    Join Call to Action for ASEAN Head of State at www.greenpeace.or.id/fukushima (for Bahasa Indonesia) www.greenpeace.or.th/fukushima (for Thai) and www.greenpeace.org.ph/fukushima (for English)

2)    In 1995, ASEAN entered into a Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone, often referred to as the Bangkok Treaty. This Treaty serves to protect the region from destructive nuclear weapon development and use and has provisions for the early notification of nuclear accidents. It also indicates that State Parties have the freedom and right to use nuclear energy towards economic development and social progress, thereby tying the entire region into a common energy future.

3)    The ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation 2010-2015 aims to reduce regional energy intensity (energy consumed per dollar of GDP) by at least 8 percent by 2015 from the 2005 level. The plan also sets a strategic goal of having 15 percent of total power capacity installed by 2015 coming from regionally-derived renewable energy. The 2nd ASEAN Energy Demand Outlook published by the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) and the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ) estimates that nuclear energy will help achieve these targets by contributing 0.9 percent of the regions' total power capacity by 2010 and 1.6 percent in 2030.

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