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A lesson from Fukushima: A safe, clean energy future will be nuclear-free via Greenpeace

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And, how “safe” and “clean” is this energy source, really? If we believe the nuke huggers, it is very safe – one catastrophic accident occurs only once every 250 years, they say.

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Unfortunately, the industry, and many regulators, have continued to tow the “safety” line – while at the same time weakening reactor safety standards so that aging reactors can meet them. And the aging nuclear fleet in many parts of the world results in increased safety risks, as components degrade with time and wear.

If we are to discuss “safety” within the context of nuclear, it’s also important to broaden our perspective beyond a narrow focus on solely catastrophic accident risks at operating nuclear reactors, to major environmental and public safety risks imposed by the entire nuclear cycle. These include uranium mining; uranium processing to create nuclear fuel (milling, conversion, enrichment and fabrication – each step uses fossil fuels and generates radioactive wastes); radioactive releases during operation – both, routine radioactive releases and accidental ones; and the ever increasing nuclear waste problem. After over seven decades of nuclear technology, final spent nuclear fuel disposal is still unsolved anywhere in the world. Some countries, like the UK, France, and Russia, compound the radioactive waste problem by “reprocessing” spent nuclear fuel — a chemical process separating plutonium from high level radioactive waste, which not only generates an enormous amount of radioactive gaseous and liquid effluent, but increases nuclear bomb proliferation risks.

There are also indications that even in the absence of a major disaster, nuclear reactors may be hazardous to human health – particularly for children.

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Those who created the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe know that their nuclear power plants have no place in a modern Japan. And they are fighting as hard as they can to stop clean energy progress and shore up their dirty-energy-based profits.

But, for the people of Japan, a majority of whom oppose any nuclear restart, there are massive opportunities on the horizon for a truly safe and clean future. And we, at Greenpeace, will stand with them – against the onslaught of the nuclear village – to ensure that the clean, renewable energy future becomes a reality.

To stand together with the clear majority of Japanese people who believe a #ZeroNuclear future is possible, for Japan and the world, add your name to the petition today.

www.greenpeace.org/zeronuclear2015

If you would like to share your own story and hope for our shared energy future in the comments, please feel welcome. (note: we may tweet items from the comments, we will ask you first).

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