Fukushima: Time to switch power source

Fukushima: Time to switch power source  

Today marks the 4th year anniversary of the Fukushima earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster.

On 11 March 2011, the strongest earthquake in Japan's history caused a giant tsunami that killed more than 18,000 people along the country's north-east coast. It also triggered a triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Massive amounts of radioactive material were released into the environment. It will take decades to clean up at a cost which is still hard to quantify.

The situation is far from being back to normal. More than 130 000 Japanese citizens have been evacuated from the irradiated zone. The health impacts on the local population, resulting in diseases such as thyroid cancers - especially among kids - have increased. The impacts on the local economy are equally threatening, with a large amount of radioactive chemicals contaminating the local water, soil, fauna and flora. Food that used to be locally produced is now no longer suitable for consumption and fishing continues to be banned off the coast of Fukushima.

The Greens have always been against nuclear energy, which is far too dangerous and also makes absolutely no economic sense. The recent announcement of French nuclear group Areva, which is weighed down by heavy debt and suffering from a whole series of problems like industry slowdown, lack of orders and legal troubles. If we add that there is no sustainable solution for nuclear waste, it shows once again that nuclear energy is not a solution.

However, despite this last catastrophe, some European governments and EU officials are still not bold enough to put an end to this dangerous and expensive energy source: they continue to bow down to the nuclear lobby, agreeing to give them large direct and indirect subsidies (such as recently in the UK with Hinkley Point C) and presenting nuclear as a clean energy source that can fix the challenges facing our climate!

With the new European institutions now in place, it is time for Europe to develop an energy system that makes sense: a system that is efficient, affordable and safe and is part of the solution for combating climate change. This is exactly why the group is pushing for a Green energy and climate union leading the EU towards a 100% renewable based economy. If both the European Commission President and Vice President of the EU in Charge of the Energy Union are serious about making Europe the world's number one in renewables, well... It is perhaps time they turn their back on the old energy sources to invest massively in its potential and people.




Read the latest Initiates file downloadstudy from Ecologic on the latest European Commission report on energy costs and subsidies focusing specifically on nuclear costs and subsidies