We demand government retract the new energy plan that lacks a critical review of Fukushima Daiichi accident
National Confederation of trade Unions (Zenroren)
Today, on April 11, Japanese government approved a new energy plan that would be the basis of the country’s energy policy in the aftermath of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, stating nuclear should be an "important baseload power source".
With this, the government has overturned the previous Democratic Party government’s “strategy for progressive energy and the environment” (September 2012), which was to put in every possible energy policy source to make zero-nuclear power possible in the 2030s. The government flatly rejects many people’s opposition to putting the nation’s nuclear reactors back online. We strongly oppose the government’s energy plan. Because it tramples upon the will of the sovereign people who strongly demand a “zero nuclear” policy in order to accede to the need of the financial circles and large corporations for greater immediate economic interests to be generated by reactor makers and nuclear power-related businesses. They form a community that has interest in promoting nuclear power. We strongly demand the revocation of the plan.
About 140,000 people have been driven out of their homes due to the Fukushima Daiichi accident. They are still forced to endure the difficult living conditions as evacuees. They are still unable to have hope for reconstructing their livelihoods.
At the crippled reactors of the Fukushima Daiichi plant, radioactive water is still leaking. The crisis is far from being over. With the response to the crisis being left unattended, the government insists that nuclear power is the main energy source. How irresponsible it is for the government to relinquish its responsibility for the accident!
We must not forget that massively accumulated spent fuel need to be disposed of and that a reprocessing plant for the nuclear fuel recycling program remain shut down with no possibility of operation in sight.
All this shows how irresponsible it is for the government to come up with a plan to keep nuclear reactors online.
As clear from the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, nuclear safety is far from being assured. The nuclear reactor inherently is precarious as it can’t be reactivated after an accident.
Economically speaking, once an accident occurs, costs for cleanup, compensation, decontamination, and decommissioning will be enormous.
It is also clear that radioactive contamination caused by an accident could globally disrupt the environment. The government plan disregards all these risks and emphasizes only immediate cost effectiveness. We must not allow the government to use such deceptive reasons for establishing the nuclear plan.
Since the Kansai Electric Power Company’s Ohi plant came to a halt in September, no nuclear power plants in Japan are in operation. It has become clear that the weakening yen is making the prices of imported goods soar and that depending on foreign countries for energy has risks.
Given that these are the facts, the task now is for our country to move toward increasing reliance on renewable energy sources that are cleaner and safer energy. For this reason, we reiterate our demand that the government turn to renewable energy sources as important baseload power sources and that it declare the country zero-nuclear.