Climate & Energy Blog

President Asked to Release Info about Japanese Disaster

Posted Mar. 18, 2011 / Posted by: Nick Berning

For Immediate Release

Contact:

Nick Berning, nberning@foe.org, 202-222-0748; Lisa Matthes, lmatthes@foe.org, 202-222-0730

National Organizations Ask President to Release Information on Japanese Disaster

Friends of the Earth also calls for explanation of disparate contamination readings

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Several national watchdog and environmental groups* today sent President Obama a letter urging him to release information about radioactive contamination stemming from the nuclear reactor and waste catastrophe in Japan.

The groups have called on the President to retroactively release data from the past week and to set in place an interagency structure that ensures that the U.S. government promptly and accurately reports to the public any information that it acquires about radiation releases from and in Japan and as such contamination spreads to the U.S.

“As there are Nuclear Regulatory Commission and military personnel monitoring the situation in Japan and numerous agencies doing so here in the U.S., the U.S. government clearly has information that the public has a right and need to know,” said Damon Moglen, Climate and Energy Director at Friends of the Earth, one of the groups that signed the letter. “This information is critically important to the Japanese people, for whom such knowledge may literally be a matter of life and death, but also to Americans in Japan and those here at home who are anxious that dangerous radiation may creep towards our shores.”

The letter to the President calls for “a dual commitment to both the aggressive provision of public information and transparency on the part of government and corporate entities.”

The letter urges President Obama to ensure that data about radioactive releases that has already been acquired be aggregated and released to the public immediately, including data about contamination of military vessels and personnel. The letter also asks Obama to assure that readings of radiation levels and listings of the radioactive elements contained in the radioactive emissions be measured and made available to the public on a fully transparent and real-time basis. Noting that a number of federal agencies and the military are collecting data, the letter asks that the White House ensure inter-agency coordination.

“Given that the U.S. has reportedly found higher levels of radiation and called for U.S. citizens to stay further away from Fukushima than has the Japanese government, it is critical that the global public get the raw facts and the hard truth at this chaotic and scary moment,” said Moglen.

The full letter can be found at http://www.foe.org/sites/default/files/NuclearTransparencyLtr3.18.11.pdf.

* Organizations signing the letter are: Friends of the Earth, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Public Citizen, and Center for Biological Diversity

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