Greenpeace response to growing troubles at Fukushima Nuclear Reactors

Crisis at Fukushima I/Daiichi and Fukushima II/Daini Plants

Press release - March 13, 2011
Reacting to ongoing reports of cooling problems and the continuing release of radioactive materials from the Fukushima I/Daiichi and Fukushima II/Diani Plants, Jan Beranek, Head of Greenpeace International’s Nuclear Campaign said:

“Our thoughts remain with the Japanese people, who in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami are now faced with a dreadful situation, where instead of being able to plough all resources into rescue and relief efforts, the government is dealing with a crisis caused by the inherent and inescapable risks of nuclear power.”

“Despite Government statements, the crisis at Fukushima continues to be a race against time, and is clearly not under control. We hope a worst-case scenario will be avoided, and that authorities continue to take urgent action to protect to people against the irradiation, while  contamination apparently continues to be released into the atmosphere.“

“Current reports suggest new emerging problems with the cooling of at least two reactors units one and three at Fukushima I-Daiichi, both of which apparently suffered some melting of the fuel rods, causing a release of radiation that has been detected outside. Unit three uses  so-called MOX fuel that contains plutonium oxide and releases significantly more heat even after the reactor is shut. In a situation where there is melting or damage to fuel in the reactor, several times more radioctive gases would be released, compared to same amount of normal uranium fuel used in reactor number one. All of this is extremely worrying, and tells us that the the crisis is far from over.“

“Greenpeace is concerned about th  lack of facts and transparency about the total amount of radiation that has already been released, the exact state of cooling in all the reactors, and about whether the spent fuel ponds are secured - they contain large amounts of radiation and are located outside of the containment – any damage to them would release contamination directly to the atmosphere, We request that Japan’s government share this information with the public immediately.“

“Nuclear reactors are a dirty and dangerous power source, and will always be vulnerable to the potentially deadly combination of human error, design failure and natural disaster. Greenpeace is calling for the phase out of existing reactors around the world, and no construction of new commercial nuclear reactors. Governments should instead invest in renewable energy resources that are not only environmentally sound but also affordable and reliable.”

Contacts:

  • Greenpeace International Press Desk Hotline +31 (0) 20 7182470
  • Jan Beranek, Greenpeace International Head of Nuclear Campaign: + 31 (0) 651 109 558

Notes:

Japan has 54 rectors in total in 18 power plants, with 47,000MW installed capacity which generated 29 percent of electricity supply in 2010.  Four nuclear power plants located on the eastern coast close to the epicenter were affected: Onagawa (3 reactors), Fukushima-Daiichi (6 reactors), Fukushima-Daini (4 reactors) and Tokai (1 reactor).  The next nearest nuclear power plant is Kashiwazaki-Kariwa (7 reactors) that sits on the opposite site of the island, on its western coast.
For more information on how Japan can phase out nuclear energy please read Japan Energy [R]evolution scenario http://www.energyblueprint.info/japan.0.html

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