To: The Hon Martin Ferguson AM, Member of Parliamant for Resources and Energy, 159 High Street, Preston Vic 3072
The calamity at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex, following the tragic earthquake and tsunami on March 11, confirms 25 years after Chernobyl that claims of safe nuclear power are false.
Three reactors and several spent fuel pools at Fukushima Daiichi are still releasing large amounts of radioactive materials. There is no end in sight. Seabed, air and soil samples taken in the region have recorded alarming radiation levels, hundreds of times higher than previously detected in and around Fukushima. Radiation from Fukushima has spread to Korea, China, Russia, Europe, the USA and Australia. It is now clear that both the electricity company, TEPCO, and the Japanese authorities have been and remain incapable of taking necessary steps to prevent a nuclear disaster, and of responding appropriately to the ongoing crisis. I have recently visited the affected area with Sylvia Kotting-Uhl, a member of the German Parliament, and have thus had first-hand experience of the aftermath of these events.
We now know that it is a level 7 (worst possible) nuclear event – considered by experts to be the worst nuclear disaster in history, and that within days of the earthquake and tsunami the nuclear fuel had melted down and through the containment structure. The resultant release of radioactive materials has put large numbers of people at risk of radiation induced illnesses, including many outside the current evacuation zones. Children and expectant mothers will be especially vulnerable..
The Australian Government must now accept responsibility for what becomes of the uranium it mines and exports. In the aftermath of events in Fukushima, Australia has a special responsibility to the people of Japan and elsewhere suffering from exposure to Australian uranium. I am thus writing to call on the Australian government to put in place a moratorium on uranium mining and exports, and in particular to immediately cease all uranium exports to Japan.
For your information, I attach a copy of a resolution on this matter adopted last weekend by the Australian Greens National Council following a talk by Namiho Matsumoto and myself.
Rikiya Adachi, Greens Japan
Resolution on the Fukushima Disaster
Adopted by The Australian Greens National Council July 10th, 2011
The following resolution was agreed after Namiho Matsumoto and Rikiya Adachi from Greens Japan addressed the meeting.
We, Australian Greens and Greens Japan, call on people around the world:
1. to put pressure on the Japanese Government and on TEPCO to gather and release all relevant information, including raw data, and to return the exposure limit back to the normal level so that people, especially those who are physically and socially vulnerable, can be saved.
We call on the Japanese Government to:
1. Immediately evacuate people, especially children and expectant mothers, from highly radioactive contaminated areas.
2. Strengthen the monitoring of radioactive contamination of air, soil, water, foods and the sea, and make the information, including raw data, publicly available;
3. Enable the ongoing monitoring and recording, free of charge, of external/internal radiation exposure history of all people in affected areas. Measures to achieve this include the widespread distribution, free of charge, of integrating dosimeters, as well as the use of Whole Body Counters, blood, mother’s milk and urine analysis.
4. Allow international experts and organisations to fully participate in the search for and implementation of the best means possible of responding to the crisis.
5. Establish a special institution for the treatment of nuclear waste;
6. Abandon nuclear energy, by:
6.1. Not restarting nuclear power plants closed down under the regular inspection regime;
6.2. Closing down all nuclear power plants currently operating;
6.3. Decommissioning all nuclear power plants in Japan;
7. Declare Japan a nuclear-free country, including of commercial use.
We call on the Australian Government to resolve that it must prevent fuelling more Fukushimas by:
1. Declaring a moratorium on uranium mining and export, following many governments around the world that are pausing to reflect on the merits and risks of nuclear power;
2. Ceasing negotiation of any new bilateral uranium and nuclear related treaties;
3. Rehabilitating uranium mine sites, isolating contaminated tailings from the environment and initiating long-term stewardship arrangements;
4. Registering all past and current radiation workers on the National Dose Register;
5. Conducting long term follow up health studies on occupationally exposed workers and their families;
6. Restoring full rights to all people violated or disadvantaged by uranium mining in Australia, including Aboriginal communities;
7. Planning, preparing and implementing a transition from a fossil economy to a renewable future.
We call on all governments to:
1. Cease nuclear power development, towards a complete phase out;
2. Intensify research into the safe treatment of nuclear waste;
3. Create a new, independent institution of scientific and other experts, charged with the responsibility of protecting people and environments from radioactive contamination.
07/10/2011 – 12:00