NGOs call for nuclear-free society

Kyodo

A group of 87 nongovernmental organizations in Japan reiterated calls to achieve “a nuclear-free society” on Tuesday, the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, as the country continues to grapple with the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant.

“We will launch a large national action” seeking the permanent closure of the Fukushima No. 1 and neighboring No. 2 plants, cancellations of the nuclear fuel recycling program and new reactor construction plans, as well as the shutdown of aging reactors, the NGOs said in their joint statement.

“As a first step we are issuing this joint statement today, 25 years after the Chernobyl accident,” it noted. “And we will propose a process for achieving a steady phase-out of nuclear energy” so the Earth will not be further subjected to radioactive contamination and radiation exposure.

On the state of the Fukushima No. 1 plant, the statement said the reactors there “have not achieved cold shutdown. The situation continues to be unpredictable.”

The No. 4 reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded on April 26, 1986, and remains the world’s worst nuclear accident.