Greenpeace calls upon Japanese government to extend Fukushima evacuation zone to protect pregnant women and children; holds candle light vigil in Jakarta

Press release - March 30, 2011
Around 100 Greenpeace activists and supporters held a candlelight vigil at Bundaran HI in Jakarta today to express solidarity with victims of the earthquake, tsunami and the unfolding nuclear disaster at the Fukushima/Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan.

“Our thoughts are with the people of Japan 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,” said Nur Hidayati, - Indonesia Country Representative, Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

The Japanese authorities are fully aware that high levels of radiation from the Fukushima/Daiichi nuclear plant have spread far beyond the official evacuation zone, yet are still not taking action to properly protect people or keep them informed them about the risks to their health. (1)

Greenpeace radiation experts monitoring the situation on the ground in Japan have confirmed radiation levels of up to ten microsieverts per hour in Iitate village, 40km northwest of the crisis-stricken Fukushima/Daiichi nuclear plant, and 20km beyond the official evacuation zone. These levels are high enough to require evacuation.

The team measured radiation of between 7 and 10 microsieverts per hour in Iitate, on Sunday March 27th. (2) The levels detected refer to external radiation, and do not take into account the further risks such of ingestion or inhalation. The annual limit for accumulated dose for members of the public is 1000 microsieverts. The current official evacuation zone is 20km around Fukushima, while people living between 20km and 30km from the plant have been advised to stay indoors.

“This nuclear crisis is a man-made disaster, the impacts of which will be long felt even after the Japanese people have recovered and rebuilt their lives from the natural disasters of earthquake and tsunami. Reverberations from the Fukushima crisis are being felt around the world, as plans to build new nuclear power plants are being challenged. The safety of existing plants is being questioned.” Said Arif Fiyanto, Greenpeace Southeast Asia energy campaigner.

“It is time for the nuclear industry to come clean on the true dangers of nuclear power and stop spreading their lies to countries like Indonesia, and other ASEAN countries.  The smartest move for Indonesia and governments around the world is to heavily invest in energy efficiency, and redouble their efforts to harness safe and secure renewable energy sources,” he added.

Greenpeace and the European Renewable Energy Council have developed an energy scenario which delivers the world's energy supply with 95% renewable energy by 2050: reliable energy with more jobs, more equitable power distribution, and no "peak solar" or "peak wind" fuel price variations. In this scenario, an ambitious energy efficiency program along with massive development of renewable energy happen in parallel, so that by 2050, the global energy system is 95% powered by renewable energy. Energy will move towards a decentralised system using local renewable sources such as wind, solar and geothermal. (3)


Notes:

(1) The Fukushima Prefectural Government has been measuring the radiation levels in Iitate and confirming consistent and even higher range of radiation levels during the past two weeks.  

• on March  27 they found levels 8.2 uSv/h
• on March 15 they found 44.7 uSv/h

 http://www.pref.fukushima.jp/j/20-30km18.pdf 

 

(2) The team measured radiation of between 7 and 10 microsievert per hour in the town of Iitate, on Sunday March 27th. The levels detected refer to external radiation, and do not take into account the further risks such of ingestion or inhalation. The annual limit for accumulated dose for members of the public is 1000 microsieverts.

 

(3) http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/climate-change/energyrevolution/