Antinuke confab urges backing for victims’ rights

Kyodo

Citizens, politicians and scientists wrapped up a large antinuclear conference Sunday at Pacifico Yokohama convention center by summarizing their findings and demanding that sufficient support be given to those affected by the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant.

The participants at the Global Conference for a Nuclear Free World also told the central government and plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. to provide “full transparency” when dealing with the crisis and when helping those affected.

The demands were part of a list called the Yokohama Declaration, which was adopted by more than 10,000 people from some 30 countries on the second and final day of the event in the capital of Kanagawa Prefecture.

The declaration said the victims of the crisis have rights that need to be protected. These include “the right to evacuation, health care, decontamination, compensation and the right to enjoy the same standard of living as before March 11, 2011,” it said.

The declaration also urged the government to comprehensively collect data related to radioactive contamination of humans, food, water, soil and air as a way to minimize exposure to the radiation released by the Fukushima disaster, which was triggered by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The conference participants emphasized the need for the global community to draw up a road map for phasing out the nuclear fuel cycle — from uranium mining to waste disposal — and decommissioning all nuclear power plants.

“The ‘safety myth’ has been destroyed. Nuclear technology has never been safe and has never survived without massive public subsidies,” the declaration said, proposing instead that Japan go with renewable energy. “Renewable energy is proven and ready to be deployed on a decentralized and local scale if only policies to promote it were advanced to support local economies, such as Feed-in-Tariffs.”

The declaration also said that the atomic power plants now sitting idle across the country should not be restarted.

The declaration also called on Japan to ban the export of nuclear power equipment and knowhow to Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe.