For Immediate Release
Friends of the Earth statement on the third anniversary of the Fukushima disaster
WASHINGTON - Three years ago today a massive earthquake triggered a tsunami which struck Eastern Japan. Three nuclear reactors and a spent fuel pond at the nearby Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station proved vulnerable to the rising waters and melted down -- causing an unprecedented nuclear crisis. On the third anniversary of this catastrophe, Friends of the Earth president Erich Pica issues the following statement:
“On the third anniversary of the tragedy at Fukushima, our thoughts go to the tens of thousands of Japanese who have been uprooted from their homes and are unlikely to return.
"Many questions remain about what happened and what is still happening at Fukushima Daiichi. What we do know, however, is that this disaster categorically proves that nuclear reactors are neither safe nor clean.
"The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster has forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people, contaminated a tremendous area and costs hundreds of billions of dollars in clean-up. The disasters at Fukushima, Chernobyl and Three Mile Island prove that the cost of our reliance on nuclear power is far too high. There is no room for this failed dirty, dangerous and costly technology in the clean energy mix of the 21st century.
"Unfortunately the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has taken insufficient steps to improve reactor safety, in the wake of the Fukushima tragedy. The NRC’s stated mission is '…protecting people and the environment,' so it is unacceptable that the commissioners voted against their staffs’ recommendation to upgrade U.S. reactors with safety equipment designed to prevent explosions like those at Fukushima Daiichi. Friends of the Earth urges the NRC to carefully review the facts of the Fukushima disaster and take immediate action to maximize safety for American communities near and downwind of nuclear reactors.”
Friends of the Earth is the U.S. voice of the world's largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.