Climate & Energy Blog

Environmental Group Criticizes Continued Failure of TEPCO to Control Radioactive Releases

Posted Apr. 21, 2011 / Posted by: Kelly Trout

For Immediate Release
April 21, 2011

Contact:
Kelly Trout, 202-222-0722, ktrout@foe.org
Lisa Matthes, 202-222-0730, lmatthes@foe.org

Environmental Group Criticizes Continued Failure of TEPCO to Control Radioactive Releases

Group calls on U.S. government to take further steps to protect the public and the environment from rising contamination

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) revealed today that it allowed the release of some 520 tons of highly radioactive waste water into the open ocean in early April.

In response, Friends of the Earth condemned the nuclear company for hiding the information from authorities and the public for weeks—and for its inability to control massive releases of radiation. The group called on the U.S. government to guarantee to the public that it is doing all it can to assist in stopping the releases and in monitoring their impact on the public and the environment.

“It is unacceptable that, after one month, TEPCO does not have control of the situation and is using the ocean as its personal dumping ground. They are responsible for massive radioactive releases into the environment and they continue to act with apparent impunity,” said Damon Moglen, climate and energy director at Friends of the Earth. “‘Oooops’ is not an acceptable response to this extraordinary nuclear disaster. We want to know in what ways TEPCO is being held fiscally, legally and criminally accountable for this egregious behavior.”

“The dumping of nuclear waste into the ocean clearly threatens the Japanese people, its neighbors and ultimately all those countries bordering the Pacific. With rising levels of radioactive contamination found in the United States, particularly in water and milk, we demand that the U.S. government increase its intervention in this disaster. It should take further steps to monitor the contamination in our water and milk, vegetables and fruit, fish and seafood products, not to mention imported foodstuffs that could be affected,” added Moglen.

TEPCO revealed the releases today but confirmed that the nuclear waste dumping had occurred between April 1 and April 6 and involved highly radioactive water that was some 20,000 times above the annual permissible level.

More information on TEPCO’s revelation is available here: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-04/21/c_13839934.htm

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Friends of the Earth is fighting to defend the environment and create a more healthy and just world. Our current campaigns focus on promoting clean energy and solutions to climate change, keeping toxic and risky technologies out of the food we eat and products we use, and protecting marine ecosystems and the people who live and work near them

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