Eco group calls for nuclear-free ASEAN on eve of Fukushima disaster
GMA News reported
As the anniversary of the March 11 earthquake-tsunami tragedy that hit Japan nears, an ecological group called on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to make the region nuclear-free.
Greenpeace said ASEAN governments should heed the lessons of Fukushima and abandon their nuclear ambitions or revamping their energy policies in favor of efficient and renewable energy.
“We invite all citizens of ASEAN member states to join Greenpeace in delivering a strong call to action to our ASEAN leaders to learn from the lessons of Fukushima. We call on our governments to drop current and future plans to develop nuclear and instead focus public resources in enabling the rapid uptake of this region’s abundant clean, safe, renewable energy resources, and the adoption of energy efficiency measures,” said Greenpeace Southeast Asia campaigner Francis Dela Cruz.
On March 11 last year, a magnitude-9 quake and a resulting tsunami devastated Japan, and led to the meltdown of the Fukushima power plant.
Citing findings from its own probe of the Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown, the group said Fukushima became a bigger disaster not because of forces of nature, but because of the past and tragic predisposition of industry and government regulators to secure the interests of the nuclear industry, instead of ensuring public welfare and safety.
It said such a disaster could be repeated at any nuclear plant in the world, adding major meltdowns have taken place every decade for the last 50 years that nuclear plants have been around.
This runs contrary to assurances by the industry that such accidents have low probability, it said.
Petition for ASEAN
Greenpeace launched a petition asking ASEAN to divert from the nuclear path it laid down in the Treaty of Bangkok and repeal the nuclear development provision in the ASEAN Energy Cooperation Plan 2010-2015.
The group made the rounds of ASEAN members’ embassies today with the Call-to-Action, and will deliver the petition to ASEAN Heads of States at the ASEAN Summit in Cambodia at the end of March.