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Greenpeace wants nuke industry to stop evading responsibility

February 20, 2013


Greenpeace wants nuclear plant suppliers held accountable for Fukushima crisis





The international environmental group Greenpeace launched an online campaign Tuesday saying nuclear power plant manufacturers should be held accountable for the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant.

Greenpeace wants Japan’s law on compensation for nuclear damage to be revised so that the companies who designed and built the reactors pay as well.

Currently, compensation is being paid by Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the Fukushima plant that has been crippled since the massive earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.

Greenpeace said only India, Russia and South Korea have legislation under which nuclear plant suppliers are held liable in the event of a disaster.

The environmental group is calling for a system that does not allow the nuclear industry to evade responsibility for compensating the public for disasters.

“The Fukushima disaster exposes the shameful defects in a system that only requires nuclear operators to pay a fraction of the costs of a disaster and does not require suppliers of reactors to pay anything,” Aslihan Tumer, Greenpeace International nuclear campaigner, said in a press release dated Tuesday.

It is not fair that the nuclear industry benefits while the public is left to pay the heavy price for its failures,” Tumer said.

Fukushima Fallout

Nuclear business makes people pay and suffer

Publication - February 15, 2013

From the beginning of the use of nuclear power to produce electricity 60 years ago, the nuclear industry has been protected from paying the full costs of its failures. Governments have created a system that protects the profits of companies while those who suffer from nuclear disasters end up paying the costs.

The disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in March 2011 proves again that industry profits and people pay. Almost two years after the release of massive amounts of radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster, hundreds of thousands of people are still exposed to the long-term radioactive contamination caused by the accident. The daily lives of victims are disrupted. They have lost their homes, their jobs, their businesses, their farms, their communities, and a way of life they enjoyed.

This new Greenpeace report demonstrates how the nuclear sector evades responsibility for its failures. The nuclear industry is unlike any other industry: it is not required to fully compensate its victims for the effects of its large, long-lasting, and trans-boundary disasters. In this report, the current status of compensation for victims of the Fukushima disaster is analysed as an example of the serious problems due to lack of accountability for nuclear accidents. The report also looks into the role of nuclear suppliers in the failure of the Fukushima reactors.

We learned from Fukushima that nuclear power can never be safe. The nuclear industry, largely protected from the financial liability for the Fukushima accident, continues to do business, while the Fukushima victims still lack proper compensation and support. Would things be different if the next big nuclear disaster happened in your country? You would likely be facing the very same problems. We have to phase out dangerous nuclear power entirely, and do so as soon as possible. Yet, if there is another major nuclear accident, people could be given better protection if we hold the nuclear industry fully accountable and liable. We need to learn the lessons from Fukushima, and change the system in order to make all companies in the nuclear industry responsible for the risks they create.

Download "Fukushima Fallout" 

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