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Greenpeace response to radioactivity release from Fukushima reactor

Reacting to reports that radioactive materials
including the isotope Cesium-137 have been released from the Fukushima
power plant, and that increased levels of radiation have been detected
in the immediate vicinity, Jan Beranek, Head of Greenpeace International
Nuclear Campaign said:

“Our thoughts continue to be with the Japanese people as they face the
threat of a nuclear disaster, following already devastating earthquake
and tsunami. The authorities must focus on keeping people safe, and
avoiding any further releases of radioactivity”.

“The evolving situation at Fukushima remains far from clear, but what we
do know is that contamination from the release of Cesium-137 poses a
significant health risk to anyone exposed. Cesium-137 has been one if
the isotopes causing the greatest health impacts following the Chernobyl
disaster, because it can remain in the environment and food chain for
300 years.”

“Fukushima remains under threat of a serious reactor meltdown; this
would potentially create an iodine cloud, which could spread high
radiation levels to both the environment and population over many tens
of kilometres. By simply communicating to local populations the
importance of staying indoors, the government could limit potential
radiation doses from this cloud by a factor 2 to 5.”

“How many more warnings do we before we finally grasp that nuclear
reactors are inherently hazardous? The nuclear industry always tells us
that situation like this cannot happen with modern reactors, yet Japan
is currently in the middle of a potentially devastating nuclear crisis.
Once again, we are reminded of the inherent risks of nuclear power,
which will always be vulnerable to the potentially deadly combination of
human error, design failure and natural disaster.”

“Greenpeace is calling for the phase out of existing reactors, and no
construction of new commercial nuclear reactors. Governments should
invest in renewable energy resources that are not only environmentally
sound but also affordable and reliable”.

by S. C.
14 march 2011, World News > Asia

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