World’s Most Powerful Nuclear Reactor Catches Fire
July 16, 2007
For Immediate Release
For more information contact: Nick Berning, 202-222-0748
World's Most Powerful Nuclear Reactor Catches Fire, Leaks Radioactive Waste into Sea after Earthquake
Accident in Japan serves as reminder that nuclear power is not safe, says Friends of the Earth Executive Director Norman Dean JULY 17 UPDATE: A DAY AFTER THE QUAKE, OFFICIALS ACKNOWLEDGED THAT DAMAGE HAD BEEN BROADER THAN INITIALLY REPORTED AND INCLUDED 100 DRUMS OF NUCLEAR WSATE BEING OVERTURNED, SEVERAL CRACKS IN PIPES, AND COLBALT-60 AND CHROMIUM-51 BEING RELEASED INTO THE ATMOSPHERE.
"THEY RAISED THE ALERT TOO LATE. I HAVE SENT STERN INSTRUCTIONS THAT SUCH ALERTS MUST BE RAISED SERIOUSLY AND SWIFTLY," JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER SHINZO ABE SAID, ACCORDING TO THE AP. "THOSE INVOLVED SHOULD REPENT THEIR ACTIONS."
KASHIWAZAKI, JAPAN -- The Associated Press is reporting that the world's most powerful nuclear reactor caught fire and leaked 325 gallons of radioactive wastewater into the Sea of Japan today after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake in the northwestern part of Japan.
Friends of the Earth-U.S. Executive Director Norman Dean issued the following statement in response:
"This accident is a reminder that nuclear power is not safe," said Dean. "Nuclear reactors are vulnerable to natural disasters and unintentional human errors, as well as intentional sabotage such as a terrorist attack. There is also the long-term problem of transporting and storing radioactive nuclear waste once it is used. Like the disaster at Chernobyl and near-disaster at Three Mile Island, today's accident reminds us that nuclear power is hardly the safe panacea its supporters claim it to be. Energy conservation and wind and solar power are cleaner and safer than nuclear power, and they are a better way to fight global warming."