An Urgent Request on UN Intervention to Stabilize the Fukushima Unit 4 Spent Nuclear Fuel
Recently, former diplomats and experts both in Japan and abroad stressed the extremely risky condition of the Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4 spent nuclear fuel pool and this is being widely reported by world media. Robert Alvarez, Senior Scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), who is one of the best-known experts on spent nuclear fuel, stated that in Unit 4 there is spent nuclear fuel which contains Cesium-137 (Cs-137) that is equivalent to 10 times the amount that was released at the time of the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Thus, if an earthquake or other event were to cause this pool to drain, this could result in a catastrophic radiological fire involving nearly 10 times the amount of Cs-137 released by the Chernobyl accident.
Nearly all of the 10,893 spent fuel assemblies at the Fukushima Daiichi plant sit in pools vulnerable to future earthquakes, with roughly 85 times more long-lived radioactivity than released at Chernobyl.
Nuclear experts from the US and Japan such as Arnie Gundersen, Robert Alvarez, Hiroaki Koide, Masashi Goto, and Mitsuhei Murata, a former Japanese ambassador to Switzerland, and, Akio Matsumura, a former UN diplomat, have continually warned against the high risk of the Fukushima Unit 4 spent nuclear fuel pool.
US Senator Ron Wyden, after his visit to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on 6 April, 2012, issued a press release on 16 April, pointing out the catastrophic risk of Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4, calling for urgent US government intervention. Senator Wyden also sent a letter to Ichiro Fujisaki, Japan’s Ambassador to the United States, requesting Japan to accept international assistance to tackle the crisis.
We Japanese civil organizations express our deepest concern that our government does not inform its citizens about the extent of risk of the Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4 spent nuclear fuel pool. Given the fact that collapse of this pool could potentially lead to catastrophic consequences with worldwide implications, what the Japanese government should be doing as a responsible member of the international community is to avoid any further disaster by mobilizing all the wisdom and the means available in order to stabilize this spent nuclear fuel. It is clearly evident that Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4 spent nuclear fuel pool is no longer a Japanese issue but an international issue with potentially serious consequences. Therefore, it is imperative for the Japanese government and the international community to work together on this crisis before it becomes too late. We are appealing to the United Nations to help Japan and the planet in order to prevent the irreversible consequences of a catastrophe that could affect generations to come. We herewith make our urgent request to you as follows:
1. The United Nations should organize a Nuclear Security Summit to take up the crucial problem of the Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4 spent nuclear fuel pool.
2. The United Nations should establish an independent assessment team on Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4 and coordinate international assistance in order to stabilize the unit’s spent nuclear fuel and prevent radiological consequences with potentially catastrophic consequences.
30 April 2012 Shut Tomari (Japan) 1-2, 6-4 Higashisapporo, Shiroishi-ku, Sapporo 003-0006 Japan TEL: +81-90-26951937 FAX:+81-11-826-3796 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Green Action (Japan) Suite 103, 22-75 Tanaka Sekiden-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8203 Japan Tel: +81-75-701-7223 Fax: +81-75-702-1952 email: email@example.com
Endorsed by: Hiroaki Koide Kyoto University Nuclear Reactor Research Institute (Japan) Mitsuhei Murata Former ambassador to Switzerland and to the Republic of Senegal Board member, Global System and Ethics Society (Japan) Akio Matsumura Former United Nations diplomat Robert Alvarez Senior Scholar, Institute for Policy Studies, Washington, D.C. (USA)
Masashi Goto Former Nuclear Plant Engineer (Japan)
Signing organizations: 72 Japanese organizations have signed this petition (as of 30 April 2012) 1. Shut Tomari, Hokkaido 2. Green Action, Kyoto 3. Citizen’s Nuclear Information Center, Tokyo 4. Osaka Group against Mihama・Ooi・Takahama Nuclear Power, Osaka 5. Aging Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Group, Tokyo 6. Stop Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant!, Shizuoka 7. Espace des Femmes, Hokkaido 8. “Let’s learn Pluthermal” Shiribeshi Citizen’s Network, Hokkaido 9. Hairo Action Fukushima, Fukushima and Evacuation Areas in Japan 10. STOP MOX! Fukushima, Fukusima 11. Fukushima Moonlight, Fukuoka 12. Yawatahama Women’s Group to Protect Children from Nuclear Power Plant, Ehime 13. Ikata People Against Mox, Ehime 14. We Do Not Want Plutonium! , Tokyo 15. Genkai Nuclear Power Pluthermal Trial Support Group, Fukuoka 16. Genkai Nuclear Power Pluthermal Trial support Group, Fukuona 17. Pluthermal and 100 Years of Saga Prefecture Group, Saga 18. No Nuclear Plants! Yamaguchi Network, Yamaguchi 19. Food Policy Center・Vision21 20. Genpatsu Yamenkai, Fukuoka 21. Japan Environmental Law Lawyers Association （JELF） 22. Nonviolent Direct Action Network (HANET) 23. Anti-Nuclear-Power and Nuclear Fuels Reprocessing Protest Advertising Group, Tokyo 24. Kochi Green Citizen’s Network, Kochi 25. Kaku-no-Gomi Campaign, Chubu, Nagoya, Aichi 26. Aloha from Hawaii 27. Tohoku Asia Information Center, Hiroshima 28. No-Nukes Citizen’s Network, Tokushima 29. No-nukes Net Kushiro, Hokkaido 30. Fukushima Meeting for Environment, Human Rights and Peace, Fukushima 31. FoE (Friends of the Earth Japan), Tokyo 32. Citizen’s Group on Nuclear Waste, Horonobe, Hokkaido 33. Team From Now On, Hokkaido 34. No Nukes! Protect Children from Radioactivity 35. Concerned Citizens for Children’s Human Rights, Ehime 36. Protect the Sea of Sanriku from Radioactivity, Iwate 37. Iwate Organic Farming Study Group, Iwate 38. Dandelion House, Tokyo 39. Decommission All Nuclear Power! Women’s Group for Protection of Kariwa Village, Niigata 40. Sapporo Shoku Machi Network, Hokkaido 41. Citizens Wind for Peace, Tokyo 42. Together with the Earth NPO, Osaka 43. Kawauchi Tsuyukusa Group, Kagoshima 44. Group against Construction of Kawaunchi Nuclear Plant, Kagoshima 45. Hassei Group against Ikata Nuclear Plant, Ehime 46. For Citizen’s Autonomy, Hokkaido 47. No-Nukes Women Group・Hokkaido, Hokkaido 48. Hokkaido Peace Net, Hokkaido 49. Future for Fukushima Children, Hokkaido 50. Good Bye Kashiwazaki Kariwa Nuclear Power Project, Niigata 51. Weaving A Better Future Mothers’ Group 52. Group Aozora MeeMee 53. Mothers and Fathers’No-Nukes Declaration 2011 54. Southern Osaka Network for Protection from Radioactivity, Osaka 55. Kansai Network on Protection of Children from Radioactivity, Kansai 56. Journey To the Future 57. Morinokoya 58. Kaburaya 59. Nishiyashiki 60. Dandelion Fortress, Fukuoka 61. Dohatsuten Wo Tsuku Kai, Fukuoka 62. Global Ethics Association 63. Buppouzan Zenngennji 64. STOP Nuclear Plants BEFORE Huge Quake Strikes！ 65. Lee Group to Prevent Earthquake Disaster and Nuclear Accident 66. Rokkasho Village・ Home of Flowers and Herbs, Aomori 67. Anti-TEPCO-Nuclear-Power Consumers Group, Tokyo 68. Miyazu Mitsubati Project, Kyoto 69. Citizen’s Plaza, Minoh , Osaka 70. Monoh Citizen’s Group on Good Bye Nuclear Power, Osaka 71. Campaign Fukuoka against Nuclear and Uranium Weapons, Fukuoka 72. Seeking for Japan-US Security Treaty Termination Notice, Tokyo