Green Parties call for a nuclear free region on anniversary of Fukushima
March 11, 2015 marks the 4th year anniversary of the Fukushima earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster was classified as the most serious kind of accident (Level 7) on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES), and was the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.(1)
The Fukushima meltdowns shattered local agricultural and fishing communities, led to the evacuation of more than 160,000 people and will leave parts of the Tohoku Region uninhabitable for generations.(2) The reactor site remains unstable with large volumes of contaminated water onsite, ongoing radioactive discharges into air and water, and the melted fuel cores within the site are all unresolved issues.
Many are also still living with radiation contaminated soil, air, water and foods. Ocean waters also carry radioactive material across the globe, causing potential harm to people, ocean ecosystems and seafood security internationally.
The Green Parties of the Asia Pacific region offer our sincere condolences for the tragedy suffered, and our solidarity with the people and Green Party of Japan.
We use this anniversary to remind the Governments of the world, that it is the responsibility of all nations to ensure the safety of our planet.
There is no doubt, the suffering for the Japanese people has been immense, especially for those living in and around Fukushima, and it is not yet over. The world has already witnessed suffering following nuclear disasters in Chernobyl (Ukraine), Khystym (Russia), Sellafield (United Kingdom), and Three Mile Island (USA). However, there are currently 71 new nuclear plants under construction around the world, the majority of which are in the Asia Pacific region (China 26, Taiwan 2, India 6, Japan 2, Pakistan 2, South Korea 5). (3)
It is time we fully committed to a nuclear-free world.
Whether your country is listed as one of these constructing further nuclear plants or not, we are all implicated in the nuclear supply chain - through uranium mining, refining, power generation, radioactive waste, nuclear weapons, or through complicity by not discouraging the practice of our trading partners.
Green Parties around the globe oppose the expansion of nuclear power and are working to rapidly phase it out. Nuclear energy is not the emissions-free solution that the world needs to address climate change, in fact, it is a net producer of greenhouse gases.(4)
As we have seen with Fukushima, the human and planetary costs are too high, and when examining the nuclear supply chain, it is simply ineffective at reducing emissions.
We need to stay focused on transitioning to clean renewable energy sources – these are not only safer, but offer a more equitable solution. We can achieve economic development with genuine quality of life through a sustainable smart green economy. Examples of this kind of development include community-based, co-operative, renewable energy operations complemented by reduced energy consumption through electricity saving government policies.
At this critical moment, we ask the people Asia Pacific to call on their governments to:
Commit to a nuclear-free world.
Move to clean equitable renewable energy solutions for your country
Provide democratic process in citizens’ referenda on nuclear power.
Ensure information transparency, participatory democracy, social and environmental justice for residents living near power plants and nuclear waste fields.
Prioritise in decision-making the wellbeing of our planet and future generations.