E.U. parliamentarians demand transparency in Japan nuclear explosions

The parliamentarians of European Green Party were alarmed by the second explosion Monday at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear site, 270 kilometers north of capital Tokyo, due to a partial meltdown following the earlier explosion last Saturday.

The nuclear plant was damaged by last Friday’s 8.9-magnitude earthquake, which caused a 10-feet tsunami tearing down the city of Sendai in the northeast of Japan.

Japanese Prime Minister Naota Kan said in a recent update that they continue to inject water into the reactors to cool them down and try to prevent the release of radioactive nuclides.

He also ordered the evacuation of residents living within 10 kilometers of the Fukushima Daini nuclear plant and 30 kilometers of the Fukushima Daichii plant as safety precautions.

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“Despite statements from the Japanese authorities playing down the risks and the magnitude of the crisis, the situation at Fukushima continues to be a race against time,” said the parliamentarians in a statement.

They believed the situation is clearly not under control given the consecutive breakdown of cooling systems and the 22 people who are exposed to radiation.

Because of the lack of information and transparency, they said it remains unclear whether those precautions are sufficient.

Monica Frassoni, an Italian politician and member of the Parliament, said there are no secure nuclear plants but full transparency and information to the people concerned and to the world is absolutely needed.

Ms. Frassoni said the priority is to constrain possible consequences and take all necessary precautions to protect those at risk from radiation.

“It is clear that these events only strengthen our determination to quickly phase out from this dangerous, costly, and dirty energy source,” she said.

“We have alternatives and now governments should listen more to reality than to manipulating industry lobbies,” she added in light of the Italian government’s plans to come back to nuclear energy.

The president of the Greens-European Free Alliance, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, recently opened a wide debate to elicit ways out of nuclear energy dependence.

Nuclear experts will gather in Brussels this week to discuss the situation in Japan and its potential effects for Europe.

Three days before the disaster, the European Commission indicated in its Climate Roadmap to 2050 the nuclear energy as part of its electricity mix to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In response to this, nuclear-energy association Foratom’s director general Santiago San Antonio said the European Union cannot accomplish its low-carbon economy goals without nuclear energy.

“Nuclear energy produces almost one third of the E.U.’s electricity and two thirds of its carbon dioxide-free electricity,” he said.

Foratom is composed of 16 national nuclear associations, representing almost 800 firms in the industry.

 

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