'They Profit, You Pay': Activists Slam Nuclear Industry as Fukushima Remains Too Hot to Enter

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Common Dreams

'They Profit, You Pay': Activists Slam Nuclear Industry as Fukushima Remains Too Hot to Enter

At disaster-stricken Japanese plant and worldwide, the nuclear industry must be held accountable, says Greenpeace

by
Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer

With the two year anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster quickly approaching, environmental activists from Greenpeace launched a worldwide campaign Thursday calling for the international community to hold the nuclear industry accountable for past and present nuclear catastrophes.

Meanwhile, from the Fukushima Nuclear Plant today, Julian Ryall of the Telegraph reports that radiation levels within half of the reactor units are still far too high for people to enter, let alone efficiently "decommission" them, two years after the disaster began.

According to Ryall, scientists still do not have a grasp on the conditions of the reactor cores in three of the six units at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. They cannot enter the structures to investigate and are confined to using remote-controlled vehicles to get inside the "tangle of wires, pipes and rubble that has lain untouched since the tsunami tore through the facility."

Takeshi Takahashi, the head of the crippled plant, recently conceded that it will take at least 30 years before the plant could be fully decommissioned.

"Radiation levels at units one, two and three are very high and the cause of that is the fuel that has melted inside the reactors," he said.

In protest of the subsequent ongoing and adverse effects on public health and the environment—in the past, present, and likely future of nuclear catastrophes—Greenpeace activists across the world called on the nuclear industry to take responsibility for their ongoing crimes.

From demonstrations outside of the Japanese parliament, to direct action outside of GE's European headquarters in Brussels, to the unfurling of a protest banner at Hitachi Power's European HQ, activists coordinated actions across three continents to "highlight that the lack of accountability of the nuclear industry is not only a problem limited to Japan."

Greenpeace reports:

Using giant stickers, photos, projected images and nuclear scream masks, activists have already brought messages such as 'They profit, you pay' or 'Your Business, Our Risks' to the industry and the public. Activists are also demanding that GE, Hitachi and Toshiba should not be allowed to walk away from Fukushima.

Additionally, Greenpeace stated, a giant blimp with an anti-nuclear message will be seen flying across an undisclosed North American city later Thursday. More actions will be taking place in France, Germany, Belgium, Japan and North America throughout the day, following similar actions in Jordan and Switzerland that took place earlier this week.

Dr. Rianne Teule of Greenpeace International stated:

In the case of Japan, two years after the Fukushima disaster, the unfair system means hundreds of thousands of victims are still waiting for reasonable compensation for their pain, suffering and losses. They aren’t getting the help they need to rebuild their lives.

It is shocking that big companies like GE, Hitachi and Toshiba, don’t feel they have a moral responsibility to help people who have suffered from the radioactive contamination caused by their products. They should be made accountable for the risks they create.

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