StatementEvery measure must urgently be taken to prevent further deterioration of the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, and to rescue the victims and evacuees of the earthquake, tsunamis
Mar. 18, 2011
Secretary General, Japan Council against A& H Bombs (Gensuikyo)
Following the massive earthquake that hit eastern part of Japan and the subsequent tsunami disasters on March 11, 2011, the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant is facing a critical situation. Among its 6 nuclear reactors, Reactor No.1, No.2 and No.3 had their fuel rods damaged, partially melted, or suspected to be melting. At Reactor No. 3 and No. 4, the water temperature of the spent fuel storage pools has risen so high and much evaporated that fuel rods are exposed in air. A critical situation is continuing. It is also reported that the water temperature of the spent fuel storage pools at Reactor No. 5 and No. 6 is also rising.
Facing the danger of massive exposure to radiation, common with the damage from the A-bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and from nuclear testing around the world, voices of sympathies, concerns and anxieties for the victims and the people in evacuation, are reaching us from everywhere in Japan and overseas. As a movement working on the basis of the tragic experiences of Hiroshima and Nagasaki for the prevention of any more calamity and for a total ban on nuclear weapons, we are deeply concerned about the present crisis, and urge the Japanese government to make its all-out effort to avert the worst situation of catastrophic exposure of the entire nation to radiation. We also call on it to make the best effort to mobilize the wisdom and actions of the people nationwide in rescuing the victims of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident.
1. Both the most urgent and vital is to take every measure to prevent further meltdown of the nuclear fuel, ensure the cooling of the spent fuel and thus prevent the radiation from massively dispersing from the reactors. If the present situation further deteriorates to such a point where uranium and plutonium melt out of the fuel rods, massive amount of radioactive substance will be released into the air - the worst-case scenario.
It is strongly pointed out that the government has assigned the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, a body that was created for the promotion of nuclear energy, as a responsible body to cope with the crisis, and that this assignment is helping to aggravate the situation. The government must give top priority to securing the safety of the citizens, and should not be driven by the interests of the electricity industry and other financial and economic circles, such as, their demand for the preservation of the failed reactors. It should give the central role in coping with the crisis to the independent Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan, which has the role as the “cornerstone” of the nuclear safety administration.
2. The rescue efforts for the victims of the earthquake, tsunamis and nuclear power accident are equally urgent and vital. The death toll has exceeded 5,000 and another 17,000 people are still missing. Over 400,000 people are in emergency evacuation centers and passing hard time in anxiety. Inpatients evacuated from hospitals have resulted in tragic deaths in succession. In order to meet the challenge of the disaster of such enormous scale, it is essential to call for and rely on the support efforts of broad citizens, along with the efforts of national and local governments’ institutions. We urge the government to provide all disaster-related information fully and quickly. It should also ensure that the communication, traffic and transportation media are available for the citizens in their rescue efforts for the suffering people and their local governments.
3. The ongoing disaster at Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant once again shed light to the tremendous danger of continued dependence on nuclear power especially in Japan, the most earthquake-prone country of the world. Gensuikyo has many times pointed out the enormous risks involved in Japan’s nuclear policy, including the use of plutonium fuel in the nuclear power plants, the resumption of operation of the fast breeder-reactor “Monju” and the operation of the reprocessing plant at Rokkasho-mura. We have urged the immediate halt to the new construction of nuclear power plants, and called for an all-out examination of existing nuclear power plants. In the face of still-feared major aftershocks, we again urge the government to immediately conduct comprehensive checks on all existing nuclear powers. Further, we urge it to give priority to the development and promotion of alternative energy resources.