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Remember Fukushima: Sayonara Nukes

Elizabeth May - Mayne Island Town Hall - September 2013 - Monitoring Radioactive Fallout

OTTAWA – Protesters in Tokyo have been demanding that the doomed nuclear reactors in Fukushima remain shut down in anticipation of today’s third anniversary of the disaster.  Carrying placards saying “Sayonara nukes,” they express a sentiment held by Greens around the world.

The devastating accident in Fukushima continues to allow radionuclides to reach the Pacific Ocean. The engineering challenge of stopping the continuing radioactive pollution is enormous.  Only recently did the Government of Japan finally do the right thing and move the private sector owner of the plant, TEPCO, out of the driver’s seat in responding to the on-going crisis.  Engineering safety reports prior to the accident had made many recommendations, ignored by TEPCO management, which could have averted disaster.

“Canadians want to know what the radiation levels are, especially in fish reaching our shores. Personally, and based on all the evidence I can find, I think the risk is very small. As a public health matter, the anxiety caused by a lack of information may be worse than anything reaching the Canadian food supply,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP for the BC coastal riding of Saanich Gulf Islands.

“There has been increasing pressure on Green Parties around the world to abandon our long-standing opposition to nuclear power in the face of the urgent and potentially catastrophic threat posed by the climate crisis.  Our opposition remains based on a number of key realities,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada.

  1. “Nuclear energy remains the most expensive option per ton of carbon reduction of any available option – conservation and renewable energy are much more affordable.
  2. Nuclear reactors take at least a decade to build, offering one of the slowest options, much less readily accepted than conservation and renewable energy.
  3. Nuclear power offers far fewer jobs than conservation and renewable energy.
  4. Nuclear long-lived high-level waste still has no long-term solution.
  5. The risk of nuclear accident, although small, poses the risk of enormously devastating consequences and that risk will never be zero.
  6. The proliferation of nuclear reactors is inevitably linked to nuclear proliferation.”

Green Deputy Leader Bruce Hyer is conducting a series of town hall meetings about the ongoing issue of how to deal with Canada's nuclear waste, throughout the month of March.

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