They profit, you pay – the Fukushima disaster

Fukushima

 

On March 11, 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Japan, followed by a tsunami triggering the biggest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986. The earthquake and tsunami caused a complete black out at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant leading to a failure of the cooling systems. As a result, although the reactors were stopped, it only took several hours for the fuel to overheat and melt in reactors #1, #2, #3. Glowing fuel formed hydrogen gas that exploded and damaged four reactor buildings (units #1 to #4), opening a pathway for a massive radiation release from both the reactors and ponds storing spent fuel next to the reactors. The accident was finally rated with the highest rating 7, on an international scale (INES), the same rating as Chernobyl.

 

Consequences

 

The consequences of the Fukushima nuclear disaster still continue to unfold for over 150 thousand people who had to evacuate their homes, and many more others who continue to live in contaminated areas. They have not been taken care of or compensated adequately.

A survey by the newspaper Mainichi Shimbun computed that of some 300,000 people who evacuated the area, approximately 1,600 deaths related to the evacuation conditions, such as living in temporary housing and hospital closures, have occurred.

In terms of the worldwide future cancer burden from accumulated radiation exposures caused by the accident, in the years and decades ahead, Stanford University professor and anti-nuclear advocate Mark Z. Jacobson predicts that there will be an eventual 130 fatalities and 180 additional cancer cases, with the majority of these cases occurring in populations in the most heavily contaminated areas of Fukushima. A 2013 WHO report predicts that for populations living around the Fukushima nuclear power plant there is a 70% higher risk of developing thyroid cancer for girls exposed as infants, a 7% higher risk of leukemia in males exposed as infants, a 6% higher risk of breast cancer in females exposed as infants and a 4% higher risk, overall, of developing solid cancers for females.

 

The cost of the disaster

 

The cost of the Fukushima nuclear disaster is estimated at $250 billion US dollars. General Electric, Hitachi and Toshiba designed, built and serviced the reactors which directly contributed to the Fukushima nuclear disaster, yet these companies have not paid one cent of the cost for the reactor failures. Hundreds of thousands of people in Japan lost their homes, jobs and communities. None of them have received enough compensation to rebuild their lives.

All of the costs from the nuclear meltdown fell on TEPCO, the operator of Fukushima, which could not afford it and was nationalised. The costs of Fukushima are being paid by the Japanese people themselves, as taxpayers they are footing the bill for this nuclear disaster.

The situation in Japan is not an exception, if you live in or near a country with nuclear reactors, it is likely that nuclear companies could walk away from an accident near you without paying any of the costs. General Electric, Hitachi and Toshiba should pay for the damage caused by their reactors!

 

Supporting Greenpeace

 

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve oucomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families.

Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment, and as such we support such organisations as Greenpeace as they encompass similar ideals.

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Please see our website for more information:

http://thewishingwell.org.au/

 

What can we do?

 

Don’t let General Electric, Hitachi and Toshiba walk away from the Fukushima disaster.

Sign the petition and let it be known that they should pay for the damage their reactors cause in disasters like Fukushima.

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/getinvolved/They-profit-you-pay/

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