Environment

IAEA Fukushima Report ``Ignores Seicne, downplays radiation risks``: Greenpeace

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Tokyo- (PanOrient News) The International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Fukushima report, released Monday, downplays the ongoing environmental and health effects of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Greenpeace Japan said in a release noting that the report "plays into the Abe government’s agenda to normalize the ongoing nuclear disaster."

“The IAEA concludes that no discernible health consequences are expected as a result of the Fukushima disaster, but admits important uncertainties in both radiation dose and long-term effects," Kendra Ulrich, senior global energy campaigner with Greenpeace Japan said. He added that "nobody knows how much radiation citizens were exposed to in the immediate days following the disaster. If you don’t know the doses, then you can’t conclude there won’t be any consequences. To say otherwise is political rhetoric, not science.”.

“Even the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) has concluded that there is no safe level of radiation exposure. To intentionally subject nuclear victims to raised radiation levels is unjustified, particularly when we have the tragic reminder of Chernobyl where we saw increased rates of cancers more than five years after the crisis,” he added.

“The IAEA report actively supports the Abe government’s and the global nuclear industry’s agenda to make it appear that things can return to normal after a nuclear disaster. But there is nothing normal about the lifestyle and exposure rates that the victims are being asked to return to. What is clear is that the Japanese government has utterly failed to learn the lessons of the Fukushima nuclear accident, as is shown by the NRA ignoring outstanding safety issues in order to allow the restart of the Sendai nuclear reactor” said Ulrich, in reference to page 3 of the IAEA report.

Greenpeace also said the Japanese government is "systematically" lifting evacuation orders in progressively more contaminated areas, attempting to increase the public’s tolerance for what is an acceptable limit of radiation to which the Fukushima victims are exposed.

A Greenpeace Japan investigation in July this year revealed radioactive contamination in the forests and land of Iitate district in Fukushima prefecture so widespread and at such a high level that it will be impossible for people to safely return to their homes. Decontamination has been restricted to limited areas, and does not even attempt to address the vast expanses of contaminated forests and waterways. Given that many former residents will no longer be able to work in their previous lines of work due to the environmental contamination, it is intolerable to state that a lack of income is an acceptable “constraint” for the lives of the victims, as the IAEA report implies.

In May, Greenpeace Japan released an analysis of the IAEA summary report, which is still applicable to our preliminary reading of the full IAEA report. Greenpeace said it is currently reviewing the multiple technical documents and annexes released together with the Fukushima report.

Photo: an anti nuclear activist during recent demonstration in Tokyo. Photo by PanOrient News' Albert Siegel.

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