Several months after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, we’re beginning to get a sense of the likely long-term impacts. Radiation has spread across much of the northern hemisphere and parts of the southern hemisphere, including northern Australia. Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency estimates the radioactive release at 770,000 terabecquerels in the first week of the crisis. Total radiation releases will probably fall somewhere between 10-40% of those from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. Radiation releases have not been stopped and will continue for some months.
The federal Labor government put a new law before the Senate on June 14 to set up a nuclear waste dump in the Northern Territory. The same day, opponents of the radioactive waste dump plan gathered outside Parliament House in Canberra to protest. Federal resources minister Martin Ferguson has said the government’s preferred site is Muckaty station, 100 kilometres north of Tennant Creek. The proposed bill also gives the government the go-ahead to set up dumps elsewhere in the NT.
Three months after the earthquake and tsunami that triggered a nuclear disaster in Japan, new radiation "hot spots" may require the evacuation of more areas further from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility. Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has now admitted for the first time that full nuclear meltdowns occurred at three of the plant’s reactors, and more than doubled its estimate for the amount of radiation that leaked from the plant in the first week of the disaster in March. See also:
More than 65,000 people in cities and towns all over Japan marched on June 11 to mark three months since Fukushima nuclear disaster. Marchers called for an end to nuclear power. In Tokyo, separate marches took off from different routes through the city before assembling in front of Shinjuku station. The largest action, a “sound-demo” called by the Shiroto no Ran (“Amateur Riot”) network attracted thousands of young people. They marched through the city accompanied by sound-trucks plying a variety of musical styles, from punk to folk to techno.
With Italy being the latest European country to reject nuclear power in a June 12-13 referendum, a coalition of anti-nuclear groups in Britain has announced plans to hold a mass non-violent blockade of Hinkley Point nuclear power station on October 3. The plant, near Bridgwater in Somerset, is expected to be the site of the first new nuclear power station. Hundreds of campaigners are expected to take part in Gandhi-style civil disobedience, risking arrest by blockading the access road to the site in protest over the threat posed by nuclear power.
Since the 1980s, Friends of the Earth's (FoE) annual Radioactive Exposure Tour has exposed thousands of people first-hand to the realities of “radioactive racism” and to the environmental impacts of the nuclear industry. The tour is a 10-day journey into the heart of the breathtaking semi-arid landscapes of South Australia and its atomic history and current uranium mining operations.
The German government announced on May 30 that Germany’s 17 nuclear power stations would all be permanently shut down by 2022. Germany’s seven oldest nuclear power stations ― temporarily switched off after public outcry following the Fukushima disaster ― will remain off-line and be permanently decommissioned. An eighth was already off line, and will stay so. Six of the remaining nine stations will be shut down in 2021 and the final three will be turned off in 2022.
About 20,000 people took part in Switzerland's biggest anti-nuclear march in 25 years on May 22, Swissinfo.ch said that day. “Chanting and waving placards, anti-nuclear protesters marched in two groups to the site of Beznau, Switzerland’s oldest nuclear power plant which is located in canton Aargau,” the article said. Organisers said about 150 political parties and environmental organisations joined the march.
"No uranium mining," "No nuclear industry," and "No nuclear waste dump," were the themes of the annual Rally for Peace and Nuclear Disarmament, held in Brisbane on Palm Sunday, April 17. The rally and march attracted about 200 people.
Aboriginal elders at Muckaty, 120 kilometres north of Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory, have called for a weekend of protest in Tennant Creek on May 7 and 8 against the federal government’s plan to build a radioactive waste dump in the area. Traditional owners Dianne Stokes, Mark Chungaloo, Mark Lane and Bunny Naburula said on April 22: “We are the traditional owners of the Muckaty Land Trust, where the government is trying to put a radioactive waste dump.