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【Statement】Greens Japan formal declaration on the occasion of the relaunch of the Sendai Nuclear Plant (August 11th,2015)

2015/08/11 Greens Japan formal declaration on the occasion of the relaunch of the Sendai Nuclear Plant: Our appeal for an end to a demonstrably irresponsible way of generating energy.


August 11th,2015
Executive Committee of Greens Japan,

As of the 11th of August, the Sendai Nuclear Plant number one reactor will be recommissioned as an active nuclear generator. This will be the first incidence of this occurring in Japan since the nuclear accident that took place in Fukushima in 2011. The relaunch, which was approved under new rules and regulations governing the nuclear sector, is proceeding despite the objections of protest groups both local and national. We, the Green Party of Japan, take this opportunity to unequivocally voice our disapproval of this relaunch and also use this occasion to yet again advocate for a complete phase out of all nuclear reactors.

As of writing, the Japanese government has recently announced a policy of re-starting all formerly active nuclear generators that have fulfilled the new abovementioned criteria with Sendai being the first of such re-openings. However, Secretary General of the Japanese Nuclear Regulation Authority, Mr. Shunichi Tanaka, has repeatedly stated that safety is not a given when one considers the use of nuclear energy. Despite this statement, a civil evacuation strategy has not been considered in any investigation concerning the re-openings. The unpreparedness of the Sendai plant to respond to natural disasters such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions as well as the total inadequacy and the lack of effectiveness of any evacuation strategies led by local authorities has already been highlighted and mock evacuations based on any kind of planning have not even been undertaken. With this taken into account, it’s obvious that the Nuclear Regulatory Authorities who decided to approve the relaunch, Kyushu Electric Power Company (who seem to be pushing ahead with this project without any consideration for the safety of the broader community), the current Japanese government, Kagoshima prefecture as well as the city of Satsumasendai should be held to account.

As of writing, there are a total of 5 reactors within Japan that have fulfilled the criteria as outlined by the Nuclear Regulatory Authority. These reactors are the Sendai number one and two reactors, the Takahama number three and four reactors (note: the relaunch of the Takahama reactors is currently prohibited due to a preliminary ruling handed down by the Fukui District Court) as well as the Ikata number three reactor. In addition to these, there are twenty other reactors of whose suitability is currently being assessed for potential relaunch. Of these twenty, assessment of the Tokyo Electrical Power Co. (TEPCO) run Kashiwazaki-Kariwa reactor has been earmarked as a priority. It should be remembered that TEPCO is the company that was in charge of the Fukushima plant at the time of the 2011 nuclear disaster. It also should be remembered that despite the severe and extensive physical, psychological and financial damage that was borne by the local populace due to the Fukushima disaster, none of the key players, such as TEPCO or the construction firm in charge of the construction of the reactor, have been held to account in a court of law.

After the 11th of March 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, the myths surrounding the safety of nuclear power began to be dispelled. In light of these events, the necessity of renewable sources of energy started to be acknowledged to a greater extent and views regarding society’s high levels of energy consumption also started to be reconsidered. Up until today and for the previous 2 years, Japanese society had been attempting to achieve the goal of a nuclear free Japan. With this being said, we believe that the recommissioning of former nuclear reactors is a step in the wrong direction. The rationalization for this policy is based upon brand new myths of ‘nuclear safety’ and disregards the lessons that were gleaned from the Fukushima disaster. We fear that another nuclear accident such as the one that transpired 4 years ago may occur again if the current reckless course of action were to proceed on a nationwide scale. Greens Japan would like to again register our disapproval of this relaunch; one which is based upon absolutely no scientific or logical grounds and of which there is no real necessity or urgency to justify it. We also take this opportunity to reinforce our aim of advancing new forms of renewable and efficient sources of energy besides nuclear power in order to promote economic development on a geographic scale.

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The following statement was translated on a gratis basis by a member of the Australian Greens (Victorian Branch), Glen Cowan on behalf of Greens Japan.

Japanese original http://greens.gr.jp/seimei/15545/

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