Articles posted by Radical Socialist on various issues.

No More Nukes


by Christine Frank

The record 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent 32.5 foot tsunami that swept over the northeast coast of Honshu Island, Japan, on March 11 have triggered the worst nuclear reactor crisis since the disastrous meltdown at Chernobyl in 1986. The quake is considered the most powerful Japan has experienced in recorded history. It has been followed by numerous aftershocks, 96 on March 13 alone, with more expected to shake the beleaguered island.

The whole world is watching as a reduced crew of engineers and technicians struggles to gain control of the situation by venting radioactive steam and pumping in seawater to cool down the reactors in “feed and bleed” operations, while desperately trying to raise rapidly falling water levels in the fuel-rod storage pools at the Fukushima nuclear power station. It is clear they are not in control of the situation despite claims by Japanese industry, government, and regulatory agency representatives.

Seventy thousand local residents have been evacuated, and an additional 140,000 people in the outlying area have been ordered by the Japanese government to remain indoors. Potassium iodide tablets are being distributed to prevent the thyroid cancer that results from exposure to radioactive Iodine-131. Japanese officials have declared only a 12 ½-mile evacuation zone despite the fact that radiation levels outside and above the deteriorating nuclear power station have reached intolerably high levels due to releases of radioactive steam. U.S. citizens in Japan are told to stay 50 miles away, even though levels in Tokyo, 172 miles away, are 20 times above normal.

Radiation levels have spiked to as high as 8217 microSieverts an hour (mSvh). Because of the intense radiation—800 times the recommended hourly exposure limit in Japan—750 employees have been removed from the facility. To enable efforts to stabilize the damaged power station, the government more than doubled the allowable exposure levels for nuclear workers, who are working in small crews of 50, and who will soon be overexposed, drop from radiation sickness, and have to be replaced. Five workers have already died, with 22 injured and two missing since the disaster struck.

It takes skilled workers to do the job, and even if people were drawn from other facilities, there might not be enough to sacrifice in order to save the situation. A crew of 50 or even 100 cannot possibly be adequate to sufficiently cool down the reactors and keep up the water levels in the rapidly heating and evaporating spent fuel rod pools.

Some outside nuclear engineers have observed that the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the utility that owns the complex, has basically thrown in the towel and given up trying to stabilize the badly crippled reactors since the crew can barely perform the minimum work required for corrective measures. This is occurring amidst lies and cover-ups by the company, officials from the Japanese government, and the International Atomic Energy Agency, none of which have been forthcoming with accurate information.

When the quake struck, 11 Japanese reactors automatically shut down. TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi plant has six boiling-water reactors, three of which were already shut down for routine maintenance prior to the quake. The other three were in full operation. The tsunami knocked out the regular and backup coolant systems along with the emergency diesel generator. Consequently, serious damage has been done to the reactor cores and spent fuel rod pools, which have experienced either hydrogen explosions or fires, releasing radioactive steam and smoke.

• Reactor No. 1: Its fuel rods are exposed with 70% damage, which means a partial meltdown. A hydrogen explosion tore off the roof.

• Reactor No. 2: A malfunctioning valve prevented workers from manually venting steam from the containment vessel to release pressure and allow fresh seawater to be injected into it. Consequently, there was an explosion, the third in four days. The fuel was exposed for many hours. This unit has likewise suffered 33% core damage with a partial meltdown. Its torus has been ruptured, and the primary containment vessel has been breached and is cracked. The hydrogen explosion damaged the suppression pool into which steam is vented to relieve pressure.  Its roof is damaged.

• Reactor No. 3: Its housing experienced a hydrogen explosion and its primary stainless steel containment vessel is ruptured and leaking radioactive steam. A fire broke out because its fuel storage pool had overheated, releasing radioactive smoke and steam. Its spent fuel pool is losing water, and they have finally begun dropping seawater in by helicopter. This reactor has mixed reprocessed plutonium and uranium oxides for fuel (MOX), and is extremely worrisome because inhaling even the most minute particles of plutonium is lethal.

• Reactor No. 4: Its storage pool caught fire due to an explosion of a hydrogen gas bubble that arose from the chemical reactions set off by the fuel rods. Company officials had initially lied, saying the burning was from lubricating oil on machinery near the pool. The blast punctured two holes eight meters square in the wall of its outer building. The roof is also damaged. It is leaking radiation because its spent fuel pool has boiled away and the fissile material is completely exposed to the atmosphere. It will soon reach criticality if they cannot restore the water levels. Because of high radiation levels, the pool is now unapproachable, and water must be pumped in remotely. An attempt to spray water and boric acid using helicopters to slow the nuclear reaction and cool it down failed due to strong winds and high radiation levels. TEPCO is bulldozing a road to the building so trucks can approach and shoot water in via cannons. Because it’s too dangerous for the workers, it may take two or three days. This unit has 548 fresh fuel assemblies in its storage pool, moved there last November. The fresher the fuel, the more radioactive it is.

• Reactor Nos. 5 and 6, which were shut down for routine maintenance, are of less concern.  However, their storage pool temperatures are above normal.  Water supposedly is being pumped in to cool them down.

Needless to say, all six side-by-side reactors are in serious trouble and threaten the entire Northern Hemisphere with dangerous radioactive plumes and fallout if there is a meltdown and an explosion. Reactors 3 and 4 are both open to the air and leaking huge amounts of radiation directly into the atmosphere. With damaged roofs, the case is likewise for Reactors 2 and 4, with the fourth’s fuel rods completely exposed and undergoing fission. In Units 1, 2, and 3, the cooling water is boiling off the fuel rods and about to go critical as well.

The Mark One model reactor being used at the Daiichi complex was designed by General Electric, who promoted it for its relative cheapness. It has a long history of problems with its cooling system and its smaller containment, which is more susceptible to explosion and rupture from hydrogen gas buildup. It has a 90 percent probability of bursting in such situations. There are 23 of these potential fiascoes at 16 locations in the U.S. today.

Potential worst-case scenarios in Japan are as follows: If the uranium fuel rods in the reactor cores are not properly cooled, they will overheat and meltdown. At 1220 degrees Celsius (2220 F), the zirconium alloy cladding on the rods reacts with the cooling water and creates hydrogen gas, which must be vented. They have no other choice but to release it into the atmosphere. If it’s allowed to build up, the result is an explosion of which there have already been three that have damaged the reactor primary and secondary containments. At 2200 C, the uranium fuel pellets start to melt if the reactor is not cooled down with water.  The fuel pellets can also burn through the bottom of the containment vessel in full meltdown—the infamous “China Syndrome”—and explosion will ensue, releasing radioactive fallout of dust and steam.

The spent fuel pools can be even more dangerous than the active fuel rods, which are contained in stainless steel housings 15 centimeters thick—for what that’s worth. The rods lie on racks under 30 feet of water. If the water level falls and exposes the fissile material to the atmosphere, the zirconium casings can catch fire. The high heat would loft the radiation in clouds that would be blown by the prevailing winds. The plumes would contain a deadly mix of radioactive elements. Among them is Cesium-137, which has a half-life of 30 years and can be inhaled or ingested with contaminated food.

Scientists have forecasted the path of the radioactive plume that is being belched forth by the Daiichi complex. It is headed toward the Aleutian Islands and will eventually sweep down over Southern California. Not only are the Japanese people at terrible risk right now, so are other populations that are in the path of the plume. The world has the right to know what kind of radiation levels are being produced by the plant, which appears to be in its death agony.

Using gamma-ray spectroscopy, scientists can tell which radioactive isotopes are present by reading their decay signatures. The amount measured will indicate the degree the fuel rods have been compromised. That way, humankind will at least know where it stands and what to expect. So far, no accurate radiation readings have been forthcoming from Japanese authorities, leaving their people in a terrible state of anxiety.

Even the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is downplaying the potential health impacts on Alaska, Hawaii, and the West Coast. They say the plum would dissipate over the Pacific as various wind currents waft it about. Yes, it will disperse some, but probably not as much as they claim. It took the Chernobyl plume 10 days to drift around the globe and reach the West Coast. Nonetheless, there were still measureable amounts of radionuclides detected. This time it won’t have to travel nearly as far or take as long.

Anti-nuclear researchers and campaigners such as Dr. Helen Caldicott maintain that there are no safe levels of radiation and that even the smallest amount in the form of an X-ray or CT scan can have mutagenic effects and harm human chromosomes. Instead of being told the truth straight out, we are being subjected to the same lies and secrecy that surrounded Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. We must demand the truth! No more lies!

Nuclear reactors are inherently dangerous because of the threat of natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis and extreme weather. To build nuclear power stations in the Pacific Ring of Fire, where plate tectonics are extremely active with frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, is downright foolhardy, and millions of people are going to pay the price. A number of reactors in the United States lie near active earthquake fault lines. Pacific Gas & Electric’s Diablo Canyon plant, overlooking the ocean in Avila Beach, Calif., is close to two off-shore faults. And the Indian Point Energy Center stands near a fault line just 35 miles north of New York City.

The routine release of radioactive emissions is a constant threat to human health. Also, the radioactive wastes are continually piling up without end and pose a threat to future generations of humans and wildlife for hundreds of thousands or even millions of years. The potential for human error is ever present as well. Uranium and plutonium are highly unstable elements, and it is the height of hubris and arrogance to think that we can control them. The uranium ore should be left in the ground, where Nature has safely sequestered it away.

This disastrous technology was imposed upon the Japanese people despite the horrors they experienced as a result of the atomic bomb explosions over Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War Two. They have not forgotten the memory of the thousands of deaths that occurred in the fire zone, the fatal radiation sickness that followed, or the birth defects and cancers that were suffered years later by the survivors. The dire situation in Japan clearly proves that there can be no such thing as “atoms for peace.” That whole concept is nothing but a cruel lie.

Nor can there be a “nuclear renaissance,” with a second generation of reactors in Europe, the United States, India, or China. There is no justification for it, not even climate change, since the entire nuclear cycle generates greenhouse gases from cradle to grave. We must put our foot down and say, “No more nukes!” and “Don’t nuke the climate!”

It is capitalist greed and the drive for profits that has thrust upon humanity this technological nightmare, from which we are all equally defenseless. Our only recourse is for working people to nationalize the energy industries in every country and decommission these monstrosities while installing safe, clean, renewable energy technologies that harness the power of the sun and Earth’s geologic forces.

From Socialist Action

The evidence from Fukushima: nuclear power means nuclear catastrophe

The evidence from Fukushima: nuclear power means nuclear catastrophe

Daniel Tanuro


Once again the evidence shows that nuclear technology can never be 100% secure. The risks are so frightening that the conclusion is obvious: it is imperative to abandon nuclear energy, and to do so as quickly as possible. This is the first lesson of Fukushima, one which raises absolutely fundamentamental social and political questions, requiring a real social debate about an alternative to the capitalist model of infinite growth.

What has happened is entirely predictable: yet another major nuclear "accident". At the time of writing, it is not yet certain that it will take on the dimensions of a disaster similar to Chernobyl, but that is the direction in which things, alas, look set to evolve. But whether it develops into a major disaster or not, we are once again faced with evidence that the technology can never be 100% secure. The risks are so frightening that the conclusion is obvious: it is imperative to abandon nuclear energy, and to do so as quickly as possible. This is the first lesson of Fukushima, one which raises absolutely fundamental social and political questions, requiring a real debate throughout society about an alternative to the capitalist model of infinite growth.

A dangerous technology

Windscale in 1957, Three Mile Island in 1979, Chernobyl in 1986, Tokai Mura in 2000, and now Fukushima. The list of accidents at nuclear power plants continues to grow. It simply could not be otherwise and it is not necessary to be a doctor of nuclear physics to understand why.

A nuclear plant works somewhat in a similar way to a kettle, with the elements in a kettle corresponding to the fuel rods in a nuclear plant. If there is no water in the kettle and the elements heat up, there is a problem, and in much the same way the central fuel rods must be continuously submerged in water. The steam produced by the resulting boiling water turns turbines that generate electricity. The plant consumes large quantities of water, the circulation of which is ensured by pumps.

If the pumps fail, the water runs out and the overheated bars start to deteriorate. If water is not added quickly, the heat produced by the reaction in the bars is such that they melt and fall to the bottom of the tank (which corresponds to the chamber of a kettle). This tank is in turn enclosed in a double ring of security; we all recognise the outer sillouette of the reactor. If this does not withstand the intense heat of molten bars and it cracks, radioactivity is released into the environment, with fatal consequences.

A fragile technology

The reaction that occurs in a power plant is a chain reaction: uranium nuclei are bombarded with neutrons, and when it absorbs a neutron, a uranium nucleus splits in two and releases a large amount of energy (nuclear fission) while also releasing more neutrons, and each of these can cause the fission of another uranium nucleus. Once the reaction starts, it continues all by itself. The only way to control and monitor the temperature is to insert between the fuel rods bars made of alloy that can absorb neutrons without causing fission. This can cool the core of the reactor. But this cooling takes some time, during which the fuel rods must remain bathed in water, otherwise they might overheat.

The proponents of nuclear power repeat tirelessly that the device is extremely safe, particularly because, in the case of failure of the mains supply, the pumps can be supplied with energy thanks to emergency generators. The accident in Fukushima shows that those assurances are not worth much: because of the earthquake, the stations have automatically triggered a chain reaction, as might be expected in such circumstances. There was therefore no more power to operate the pumps. The generators should have started automatically, but unfortunately they were out of order, drowned by the tsunami. The cooling water is insufficient, as the fuel rods were exposed from 1.8m to over three meters (for a total length of 3.71 meters). This overheating caused an overpressure and a chemical reaction (electrolysis of water cooling) which produced hydrogen. The technicians then released vapor to avoid the explosion of the tank, but hydrogen apparently then exploded in the reactor, causing the collapse of the dome of the building, and steam was released into the environment. This scenario was apparently repeated in a second reactor.

Just like Chernobyl

The distribution of freshwater having been interrupted by the tsunami, the technicians used the water from the nearby sea. Several American experts have said that this was typically an "act of desperation." According to them, it evokes the vain attempts to avoid the melting of the core of the reactor at Chernobyl, when employees of the plant and heroic volunteers poured sand and concrete onto the reactor, paying with their lives. Thhe level of radioactivity measured 80 km from Fukushima is already more than 400 times the permissible levels. Six brave Japanese journalists armed with Geiger counters visited Futaba Town Hall, located 2km from the plant and found that the radioactivity levels exceeded the measuring capacity of some of their devices! Currently, it is estimated that a Japanese citizen is receiving every hour a dose of radioactivity considered acceptable in one year.

As the French network "Sortir du nucléaire" said in a statement, "we are to believe that a dramatically high level of radioactivity in a wide area around the plant, including the health consequences does not have serious consequencers for the health". We should not believe the statements about immunity to the fallout: the precedent of Chernobyl showed that a radioactive cloud could contaminate vast regions. Everything depends on the force with which the particles are sent into the atmosphere. In the case of a very violent explosion, the radioactive elements may rocket to the altitude of jet streams, the strong winds that prevail at high altitudes. In that case, the fallout could affect areas far removed from Fukushima.

Two agonizing questions

The radioactivity comes mainly from two elements: Iodine-131 and Cesium 137. Both are highly carcinogenic, but the former has a lifetime in the atmosphere of about eighty days, while the second remains radioactive for about 300 years. On Sunday March 13, more than 200,000 people were evacuated. The authorities decreed an exclusion zone of 20 km around the first reactor in Fukushima, and 10 km of the latter. The presence of Cesium 137 is particularly worrying.

Precise information is lacking: Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and the Japanese authorities are more than likely hiding a part of the truth. The two most worrying questions which arise are whether the fusion of the bars is controlled or if it continues, on the one hand, and also if the structure containing the tank will blow up. According to Ken Bergeron, a nuclear physicist who has worked on simulations of accidents in power plants, this structure "is certainly stronger than Chernobyl, but much less so than Three Mile Island. Specialists are not disguising their concern: "If they do not regain control of it all, we will move from partial melting to a full meltdown, it will be a total disaster," said one expert (Le Monde, March 13, 2011).

But the worst of all would be the meltdown of the core of the second reactor, which exploded on March 13. Indeed, the fuel is MOX, a mixture of depleted uranium oxide and plutonium 239. Plutonium 239 is in fact a waste recycling product of conventional uranium power plants. Its radioactivity is extremely high and its "half-life" (the number of years needed to reduce by half the level of radioactivity) is estimated at 24,000 years. The Japanese are familiar with this element and its fearsome consequences: the nuclear bomb dropped on Nagasaki at the end of World War II was based on Plutonium-239 ...

An unacceptable risk

After the Chernobyl disaster, nuclear advocates have said that poor Soviet technology, poor safety standards and the bureaucratic nature of the system were the basis of the accident. If we are to believe them, nothing similar could occur to plants based on good capitalist technology, especially not in "democratic" countries where the legislature shall take all necessary security measures at all levels. Today we are seeing that these claims are not worth a damn.

Japan is a country of high technology. Fully aware of the seismic risk, the Japanese authorities have imposed strict standards for plant construction. The reactor 1 Fukushima even included a double safety device, with some generators supplied with fuel and others battery operated. Neither has done any good, because the most sophisticated technology and most stringent safety standards will never provide an absolute guarantee, given the possibility of natural disasters or possible criminal acts by insane terrorists (not to mention human error). We can reduce the risks of nuclear power, but we can not remove them entirely. If it is relatively small but the number of plants increases, as is the case now, the absolute risk may increase.

It is very important to make the point that this risk is unacceptable because it is of human origin, it is preventable, and it is the result of investment decisions made by small circles of people, focused on their profits without proper democratic consultation of the people. To write that "nuclear accidents (sic) in Japan are far from causting the loss of as many lives as the tsunami," as it said in Belgium’s Le Soir editorial (14 March), is to ignore the qualitative difference between a unavoidable natural disaster and completely preventable technological catastrophe. To add that "like any complex industrial process, energy production from the atom has a substantial risk" (ibid.) also ignores the specificity of the nuclear risk, which includes the fact that this technology has the potential to wipe the human race off the face of the earth. We must relentlessly hunt down and expose these types of excuses, which reflect the enormous pressure exerted at all levels by the lobby of the nuclear industry.

The risk on our own doorstep

If specialists do not hide their utmost concern, policies flaunt their stupidity. Asked on the afternoon of March 12, the French Minister of Industry, Mr. Besson, said that what is happening in Fukushima is "a serious accident, not a catastrophe." To justify his own pro-nuclear policy, the British secretary of energy, Chris Huhne, found nothing better to say than to point out the weakness of the seismic risk in the UK, adding that it would draw lessons from what happens in the Land of the Rising Sun so that, ultimately, security will be even better... These same pitiful arguments are used with variations by all governments who have decided either to stay the course (France), or have been converted (Italy) or are challenging the policies of nuclear power which were established under the pressure of public opinion after Chernobyl (Germany, Belgium). Objectives: To prevent panic and thereby to prevent a new mobilization of the anti-nuclear movement from torpedoing the ambitious plans for nuclear development which exist on a global scale.

To call these arguments unconvincing would be something of an understatement. In Western Europe, in particular, fear is more than justified. In France, a leader in the field of nuclear energy, reactors do not meet seismic standards of reference. According to the Network "Sortir du nucléaire" EDF ieven went to the lengths of falsifying the seismic data to avoid having to recognize and invest at least 1.9 billion euros to bring the reactor up to safety standards. Most recently, the courts dismissed an application for closure of the nuclear Fessenheim (Alsace), the oldest French nuclear reactor, also situated in an area of high seismic risk. In Belgium, Doel and Tihange are designed to withstand earthquakes of magnitude 5.7 to 5.9 on the Richter scale. However, since the 14th century, these regions have experienced three earthquakes with a magnitude greater than 6.

It is also worth noting that there are no longer enough engineers with specialized training in power plant management, and the nuclear emergency plan only provides for evacuation of an area 10 km around a plant, which is totally inadequate. The prolongation of the active lives of the facilities is another concern. It now stands at in 50 years, whereas incidents are increasing in plants with only twenty years of existence. Thus, because of their age, nineteen of French reactors have unresolved anomalies in their relief systems of cooling ... the same that have failed in Japan. Etc., etc..

A social choice

We have to abandon nuclear energy, as completely and as quickly as possible. This is perfectly possible technically, and it should be noted in passing that the efficiency of nuclear power is very poor (two thirds of the energy is dissipated as heat). The debate is primarily a political one, a debate society must have that ultimately poses a choice of civilization. Because here is the nub of the problem: we must phase out nuclear power and, simultaneously, abandon fossil fuels, the main cause of climate change. In just two generations, renewables must become our sole energy source.

However, the transition to renewables requires huge investments in energy efficient solutions, so sources of greenhouse gas emissions become more and more supplementary. In practice, energy transition is only possible if energy demand decreases dramatically, at least in developed capitalist countries. In Europe, this decrease should be about 50% by 2050. A reduction of this magnitude is not feasible without a significant reduction in material production and transportation. We must produce and carry less, otherwise the equation will not balance. This means that such a transition is impossible in the capitalist system, because the pursuit of profit under the whip of competition inevitably means growth, ie capital accumulation, which inevitably leads to an increasinng quantity of goods, putting increased pressure on resources.

This is why all the responses to the climate challenge presented by capitalists rely on sorcerer’s apprentice technology , of which nuclear is the flagship. The "bluemap" energy scenario of the International Energy Agency is telling in this regard: it proposes to triple the number of nuclear power stations by 2050, which would involve building a new gigawatt power plant every week. This is madness, pure and simple.

An alternative to this vicious system is more urgent than ever. It requires that we produce less, which means a radical reduction of working hours, and therefore a redistribution of wealth. It also involves collective ownership of energy and finance, because renewables are more expensive than other sources, and will remain so for twenty years at least. It demands planning at all levels, from local to global, in order to balance the rights of the South to development with the preservation of the ecological balance. It ultimately requires the realisation of the ecosocialist project, of a society producing for the satisfaction of real human needs, democratically determined, in accordance with the rhythms and the functioning of the ecosystem.

Without such an alternative, capitalist growth will always cause more disasters without providing for social needs. That is, ultimately, the terrible lesson of Fukushima.

  • Daniel Tanuro, a certified agriculturalist and eco-socialist environmentalist, writes for “La gauche”, (the monthly of the LCR-SAP, Belgian section of the Fourth International).

The worst is unleashed in Fukushima!

The worst is unleashed in Fukushima!

Daniel Tanuro


The gravity of the situation is worsening by the hour at the site of the nuclear power station at Fukushima, in Japan. The managers of the installations are apparently no longer in control of the sequence of events. The risk is growing of a disaster as serious, indeed more serious, as that of Chernobyl.

The complex at Fukushima Daichi has six boiling water nuclear reactors designed by General Electric. The power of these reactors varies from 439 MW (reactor 1) to 1067 MW (reactor 6). The fuel for reactor 3 is MOX (a mixture of depleted uranium oxide and plutonium), the others function with uranium. The dates of entry into service stretch from March 1971 to October 1979. So they are old machines, generally more than twenty years old, and are increasingly showing signs of wear and tear leading to incidents. In addition to the reactors, the site comprises silos for storage of solid waste. The operator of the station, the Tepco group, is known for not providing complete and reliable information on the latter.

Reactors 5 and 6 were shut down before the earthquake. The risks seem limited here, but a slight increase in temperature was noted on Tuesday March 15. However, various serious accidents have affected the four other reactors: four hydrogen explosions, a fire, and three partial core meltdowns.

The problems began in reactor Number 1 on Tuesday March 16. It seems that the reactor core melted down by 70%, and that of reactor Number 2 by 33%, according to the operator of the power station (New York Times, March 15). The information on the core meltdown of reactor Number 3 is contradictory but, according to the Japanese government, the reactor vessel of this installation was damaged (Kyodo News, March 15).

According to the French ASN, "there is no doubt that there has been the beginning of a core meltdown on reactors 1 and 3, and it is undoubtedly also the case on reactor Number 2” (Le Monde March 16). The reactor vessel of reactor 2 would not appear to be sealed either (Le Monde, March 15). According to the IAEA, a hydrogen explosion was followed by a violent fire in reactor 4. Here also the reactor vessel was damaged, but this reactor was shut down during the tsunami, so the risk of radioactive leakage was less.

An accident also affected the waste fuel storage ponds. In these installations, as in the power station reactor vessels, the fuel rods need to be constantly cooled by a current of water. As there is no longer enough water, the temperature of the rods has risen to the point of bringing the remaining liquid to boiling point, and the excess pressure has opened a beach in the containment system (BBC News, March 15).

The situation is out of control

The heroic power station workers are currently sacrificing their lives (like the “liquidators” of Chernobyl before them), but they no longer control the situation. They have tried to cool the reactors by using sea water. This was a desperate operation whose possible consequences are unknown (since sea water contains a whole series of components liable to enter into reaction with those of the installations).

Failure. The temperature is such that in some installations (the pools notably) the workers can no longer get close. The attempt to pour water on the reactors by helicopter had to be abandoned as the radioactivity was too high. According to the Japanese safety agency, the dose rate (measure of radioactivity) at the entry to the site is 10 millisievert per hour (10 mSv/h), ten times the level acceptable in a year.

The Chernobyl disaster seems to be replicated before our eyes. The result could even be worse than in the Ukraine twenty five years ago. Indeed, in case of total meltdown of reactor number 3, the reactor vessel would probably break and the fuel in meltdown would spread in the containment system which would not hold. In the nightmare scenario, it would be no longer isotopes of iodine, caesium or even uranium which would be released into the environment, but rather Plutonium 239, which is the most dangerous of all radioactive elements. We would then enter an apocalyptic scenario of death in all the zones affected by radiation, the extent of these being according to the force and altitude with which the particles would be ejected into the environment.

A mass mobilisation to end nuclear power!

Let us hope that we will be spared, the balance sheet is already horrible enough without this. But we are very conscious of the fact that this could happen and we draw the conclusion that it is necessary to put an end to nuclear power, totally and as quickly as possible. Not only civil nuclear power but also military nuclear power (the two sectors are inextricably linked). Mobilise en masse for this, everywhere, around the entire world. Get onto the streets, occupy symbolic places, and sign petitions. Nuclear power is the technology of the sorcerer’s apprentice. We should demonstrate our categorical rejection by all means possible, individually and collectively. We should create a wave of indignation and horror so that the powers that be will be obliged to bend to our will.

No credit should be granted to the governments. At worst, they claim that the cause of the Fukushima disaster – the most violent tsunami for around a millennium – is “exceptional”, thus unique, that earthquakes of this magnitude do not threaten other regions of the world and so on. This is the refrain of the French and British partisans of the atom, relayed by their political friends. As if other exceptional and thus unique causes (an air crash, a terrorist attack and so on) could not lead to other disasters in other regions!

At best, governments announce a verification of safety standards, or a freeze on investment, or a moratorium on decisions of extension of existing power stations, indeed even the closure of the most dilapidated installations. This is the line adopted most spectacularly by Angela Merkel, who has made a 180° turn on the question. The risk is great that in most cases this line seeks above all to quieten people down, without radically renouncing nuclear power.

Because capitalism cannot simply renounce nuclear energy in the short term. A system which is congenitally productivist cannot abandon the growth of material production, thus of increasing inroads on natural resources. The relative progress of efficiency in the use of these resources is real, but more than compensated by the absolute increase in production. Given the other threat which weighs –that of climate change, given the physical and political tensions (the revolutions in the Arab-Muslim world!) which weigh on the supply of fossil fuels, the question of energy is truly the squaring of the circle for this bulimic system.

Dare for the impossible, dare for another society!

Definitively, the only realistic solution is to dare for the impossible: to advance the perspective of a society which does not produce for profit but for the satisfaction of real human needs (not alienated by the commodity), democratically determined, in the prudent respect of natural limits and the functioning of ecosystems. A society where, basic needs being satisfied, human happiness will be measured against a yardstick of that which forms the substance of it: free time. Time to love, play, enjoy, dream, collaborate, create, learn.

The road to this indispensable alternative does not rely only on individuals carrying out in ecologically responsible behaviour (indispensable though such behaviour is), but on the collective and political struggle for ambitious but perfectly realisable demands, such as:

— the radical and collective reduction of working time, without loss of wages, with compensatory hiring and drastic reduction of speed of work. It is necessary to work less and produce less;

— the suppression of the incredible mass of useless or harmful production, aimed at artificially swelling markets (obsolescence of products), or to compensate for the human misery of our existence, or to repress those who revolt against the latter (the manufacture of arms). With reconversion of workers employed in these sectors;

— the nationalisation without compensation of the energy and finance sectors. Energy is a common good of humanity. Its collective reappropriation, breaking with the imperatives of profit, is the indispensable condition for an energy transition which is just, rational and rapid towards renewable sources. This transition will also demand considerable resources, which justifies amply the confiscation of the assets of the bankers, insurers and other capitalist parasites;

— the radical extension of the public sector (free quality public transport, public undertaking of housing insulation and so on) and an equally radical withdrawal from the commodity and from money: free basic goods like water, energy, bread, up to a level corresponding to a reasonable consumption.

Capitalism is a system of death. Fukushima should increase our desire for an eco-socialist society, the society of producers freely associated in the prudent and respectful management of our beautiful planet Earth. There is only one of them.

-Daniel Tanuro, a certified agriculturalist and eco-socialist environmentalist, writes for “La gauche”, (the monthly of the LCR-SAP, Belgian section of the Fourth International).

The truth behind India’s nuclear renaissance

The truth behind India’s nuclear renaissance

Praful Bidwai, Alok Deshpande


Jaitapur’s French-built nuclear plant is a disaster in waiting, jeopardising biodiversity and local livelihoods. The global “nuclear renaissance” touted a decade ago has not materialised. The US’s nuclear industry remains starved of new reactor orders since 1973, and western Europe’s first reactor after Chernobyl (1986) is in serious trouble in Finland – 42 months behind schedule, 90% over budget, and in bitter litigation.

But India is forging ahead to create an artificial nuclear renaissance by quadrupling its nuclear capacity by 2020 and then tripling it by 2030 by pumping billions into reactor imports from France, Russia and America, and further subsidising the domestic Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL).

The first victim of this will be an extraordinarily precious ecosystem in the Konkan region of the mountain range that runs along India’s west coast. This is one of the world’s biodiversity “hotspots” and home to 6,000 species of flowering plants, mammals, birds and amphibians, including 325 threatened ones. It is the source of two major rivers. Botanists say it’s India’s richest area for endemic plants. With its magical combination of virgin rainforests, mountains and sea, it puts Goa in the shade.

NPCIL is planning to install six 1,650-MW reactors here, at Jaitapur in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district, based on the European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) design of the French company Areva – the very same that’s in trouble in Finland. The government has forcibly acquired 2,300 acres under a colonial law, ignoring protests. As construction begins, mountains will be flattened, trees uprooted, harbours razed, and a flourishing farming, horticultural and fisheries economy destroyed, jeopardising 40,000 people’s survival.

To rationalise this ecocide, the government declared the area “barren”. This is a horrendous lie, says India’s best-known ecologist Madhav Gadgil, who heads the environment ministry’s expert panel on its ecology. As I discovered during a visit to Jaitapur, there’s hardly a patch of land that’s not green with paddy, legumes, cashew, pineapple and coconut. So rich are its fisheries that they pay workers three times the statutory minimum wage, a rarity in India.

Jaitapur’s villagers are literate. They know about Chernobyl, radiation, and the nuclear waste problem. They have seen films on injuries inflicted on villagers like them by Indian uranium mines and reactors – including cancers, congenital deformities and involuntary abortions. They don’t want the Jaitapur plant. Of the 2,275 families whose land was forcibly acquired, 95% have refused to collect compensation, including one job per family. The offer provokes derision, as does Indo-French “co-operation”. When Nicolas Sarkozy visited India to sell EPRs, Jaitapur saw the biggest demonstration against him [see below].

The EPR safety design hasn’t been approved by nuclear regulators anywhere. Finnish, British and French regulators have raised 3,000 safety issues including control, emergency-cooling and safe shutdown systems. A French government-appointed expert has recommended modifications to overcome the EPR’s problems. Modifications will raise its cost beyond €5.7bn. Its unit generation costs will be three times higher than those for wind or coal. India had a nightmarish experience with Enron, which built a white elephant power plant near Jaitapur, nearly bankrupting Maharashtra’s electricity board.

Jaitapur’s people are more concerned about being treated as sub-humans by the state, which has unleashed savage repression, including hundreds of arrests, illegal detentions and orders prohibiting peaceful assemblies. Eminent citizens keen to express solidarity with protesters were banned, including a former supreme court judge, the Communist party’s secretary and a former Navy chief. Gadgil too was prevented. A former high court judge was detained illegally for five days. Worse, a Maharashtra minister recently threatened that “outsiders” who visit Jaitapur wouldn’t be “allowed to come out” (alive).

This hasn’t broken the people’s resolve or resistance. They have launched their own forms of Gandhian non-cooperation and civil disobedience. Elected councillors from 10 villages have resigned. People boycotted a 18 January public hearing in Mumbai convened to clear “misconceptions” about nuclear power. They refused to hoist the national flag, as is traditionally done, on Republic Day (26 January). They have decided not to sell food to officials. When teachers were ordered to teach pupils about the safety of nuclear reactors, parents withdrew children from school for a week.

The peaceful campaign, with all its moral courage, hasn’t moved the government. It accepted an extraordinarily sloppy environmental assessment report on Jaitapur, which doesn’t consider biodiversity and nuclear safety, or even mention radioactive waste. It subverted the law on environment-related public hearings. It cleared the project six days before Sarkozy’s visit.

Why the haste? India’s nuclear establishment has persistently missed targets and delivered a fraction of the promised electricity – under 3% – with dubious safety. It was in dire straits till it conducted nuclear explosions in 1998, which raised its status within India’s national-chauvinist elite – and its budget. The major powers have “normalised” India’s nuclear weapons through special exceptions in global nuclear commerce rules. France used these to drive a bargain for cash-strapped Areva. Its counterpart is the disaster-in-waiting called Jaitapur.

Praful Bidwai Independent Journalist

Villagers, activists protest Nicolas Sarkozy-backed Jaitapur plant Published: Sunday, Dec 5, 2010, 3:20 IST

By Alok Deshpande | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

Coinciding with the visit of French president Nicolas Sarkozy to India, thousands of people on Saturday staged a protest near Jaitapur, the site of the proposed one-trillion-rupee nuclear power project to be built in collaboration with France-based company Areva.

The state-run Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) is expected to sign a deal with Areva in the coming days.

The protesters included environmentalists, villagers and farmers, from the coastal Ratnagiri district. Leaders like Arun Velaskar, were arrested at Madban, around 12km from Jaitapur. The police tried to lock the Bhagwati Temple in Madban, preventing the people from entering inside but eventually had to back down.

Supreme Court retired judge BJ Kolse-Patil was arrested in the Natye village near Madban, after which an angry mob vandalised the police van, injuring three policemen. The mob also targeted two buses used to arrest the protesting villagers. Others arrested included leaders of voluntary groups Konkan Bachao Andolan and Janahit Seva Samiti, which are spearheading the stir, the activists said, adding, the local fishing community also took part in the demonstration.

Greenpeace energy specialist Lauri Myllyvirta said that at least 10,000 people had turned out to protest. In Mumbai, a coalition of trade unions and NGOs has also planned protest.

According to the government, the final contracts are expected to be signed in the first half of 2011. There will be six reactors with a capacity of 1,650mw each. The first unit is expected to become operational by 2018.

The Konkan Bachao Andolan leaders, Velaskar, Madhu Mohite and Mangesh Chavan travelled from Mumbai to take part in the agitation. They will be produced before a court in Rajapur.

* From The Guardian, February 2011: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentis...

It’s Not Just Enough to be Anti-S.F.I: A Tale of Lost Chances and S.F.I’s Revival at J.U.

It’s Not Just Enough to be Anti-S.F.I: A Tale of Lost Chances and S.F.I’s Revival at J.U.

The Arts Faculty Students Election (AFSU) Election of Jadavpur University ended with the S.F.I. wining all four seats CP, G.S, A.G.S (Day and Evening) by a considerably big margin. Jadavpur University recognized for its academic excellence by the U.G.C. is justifiably is one of the finest institutions in the country. What differentiates it from many other institutions is its politically vibrant student’s base. J.U. Elections this time round saw four panels, AISA, USDF, FAS and AIDSO contesting apart from S.F.I. In the 2010 elections, the S.F.I. had won three out of the four office bearer posts, though at that time it had faced only one principal opponent. All the fronts claiming to be Anti-SFI failed to make their votes count, for their failure to expose the S.F.I’s incumbency and to consolidate the space for campus democracy.

The last two years have been extremely stormy with the space for students shrinking due to the introduction of new rules and regulations by the university authorities. The J.U. Campus had seen a major rupture in the 2007 elections after the Forum for Arts Students (F.A.S.) had been formed to protest against the authorities expelling 4 students from the campus without there being sufficient grounds for taking the extreme step. At that time, SFI had been in office in the Arts Faculty Students Union. But it had not paid serious attention to the extreme measures. The Forum of Arts Students (F.A.S.) had consolidated their struggle with the help of students from various institutions across India, expressing solidarity with their fellow-students. Thr FAS had been built through a process of democratic consultation and a non-hierarchical approach. The authorities had to back out because of the militant student mobilizations shaping opinion to go in students favour.

F.A.S for the first time came to power in 2007 ousting the incumbent S.F.I. 2007 also saw the climax of major struggles against land-grab in Singur and Nandigram, exposing the ruling Left-front alliance in the state, of its anti-people policies. The last two years have been equally repressive of student’s aspirations by the authorities. It started with the introduction of Code of Conduct in 2009. The Code of Conduct set rules for the ban on open programmes by the students inside the campus which also implied that the Open Air Theatre could not be available for the year’s annual festival. The students launched a movement in the name of ‘Common Students’ to get back the O.A.T. and to repeal the Code of Conduct. Compelled to say something, the SFI requested only that the O.A. T. should be made available for the one year. Despite popular demand for the repeal of the Code of Conduct, they kept silent. Similar situation ensued when in 2010, the authorities decided in the E.C. meeting that they would install C.C.T.V. Cameras as a surveillance measure. S.F.I. did not accede to the  strong reaction of ordinary students against the introduction of Camera Surveillance on the campus. Even the J.U.T.A. (Jadavpur University Teachers Association) which camouflaged itself as mediators played only a role of affirming the stance of the authorities. It was a united front of diverse organizations and masses of ordinary students that fought to retain the democratic space.  The real motives of the authorities were revealed, when mainstream media reported that with Maoists active in the campus, CCTV was necessary. In other words, militancy was to be dubbed Maoist, i.e., illegal activity, and brought under surveillance.

In November 2010, the most brutal incident since 2005 occurred in the JU campus. Students were showing black flags to the West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee, and on the pretext that one of them had used violence against the police, the entire body of protestors was lathi-charged, and a case was registered against a large number of them. The university authorities did not even condemn the brutal beating of students. As a result, students launched a huge struggle. They boycotted classes, and in the Faculty of Enginnering and Technology, the final examinations.  But this was also followed by splits among the student groups, with each carrying out its own forms of struggle. The authorities formally criticized the role of the state administration in beating up students, but took their revenge by extremely aggressive action against the Engineering students, who were told they must sit for special examinations only after apologizing and after individually writing applications.

This was the context of the Arts union election of 2011. But the elections saw a total failure on the part of the anti-SFI unions. The DSO, the AISA and the USDF were bit players. All three together got on the average about 160-170  votes per post. Ostensibly, they had moved out of FAS because it was a rightwing or non-political organization. But their own actions showed they were less interested in building a common pole for the revolutionary or radical left, and more with building party fronts. Otherwise, why could these three not come together?

As for the FAS, the main challenger to the SFI, it failed to rise to the occasion. It did not adequately highlight the university authority’s repressive measures since 2007, especially in the last two years. Neither did the demands for Common Room for Girls nor the over-aspirant drives of sensitizing the university teachers click with the students. The slogan for making the Student’s Union a platform for Students Struggle, was left un-clarified with new faces fighting the elections who had little or no participation in the fight for Campus democracy. The candidature left much to be desired, with militant activists finding very limited space as other considerations predominated. The student’s consciousness to the task at hand i.e. to strengthen campus democracy was lack-lusture. This, is exactly the reason why S.F.I. who always was hand-in-glove with the authorities stance and had to face criticism from student’s community, came to power with a thumping majority. Though all the panels apparently were successful in communicating that they were Anti-S.F.I., nobody even bothered to illustrate why reasonably well. The task of winning the election and making a statement for all Anti-S.F.I. Panels was a distant dream without the exposure of the major struggles of common students against C.C.T.V., Code-of-conduct and freedom of speech and expression on the campus.

It is necessary for the leftwing students in FAS, as well as the left organizations, to realize that the negative politics of being anti-SFI will have limited value. Such a negative politics will play into the hands of Trinamul Congress, as the main backers of the TMC know quite well.  Reporting on the JU elections, The Telegraph, voice of economic liberalism and major backer of Mamata Banerjee, wrote that disunity had led to anti-left forces being defeated. For them, therefore, anti-SFI equals anti-left. They want “broad” unity for “democracy” only so that the right wing returns to power. Common students of Jadavpur must realize that the TMC and Congress alliance means a return to the days of the Chhatra Parishad, whom the SFI merely apes. The real alternative lies in fighting to expand democratic rights by fighting independently, with a real left wing platform.

'Stop the nuclear renaissance'

'Stop the nuclear renaissance'

Japan's nuclear crisis sparked by earthquake is only latest in long line of nuclear accidents across world.
Benjamin K. Sovacool<http://english.aljazeera.net/profile/benjamin-k.-sovacool.html>

Japan's nuclear crisis is a nightmare, but it is not an anomaly.

In fact, it is only the latest in a long line of nuclear accidents involving meltdowns, explosions, fires, and loss of coolant – accidents that have occurred during both normal operation and emergency conditions, such as
droughts and earthquakes.
Nuclear safety demands clarity about terms. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission in the United States generally separates unplanned nuclear "events" into two classes, "incidents" and "accidents".
Incidents are unforeseen events and technical failures that occur during normal plant operation and result in no off-site releases of radiation or severe damage to equipment. Accidents refer to either off-site releases of radiation or severe damage to plant equipment.
The International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale uses a seven-level ranking scheme to rate the significance of nuclear and radiological events: levels 1-3 are "incidents", and 4-7 are "accidents", with a "Level 7 Major Accident" consisting of "a major release of radioactive material with widespread health and environmental effects requiring implementation of planned and extended countermeasures."
Under these classifications, the number of nuclear accidents, even including the meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi and Fukushima Daini, is low. But if one redefines an accident to include incidents that either resulted in the loss of human life or more than $50,000 in property damage, a very different picture emerges.
At least 99 nuclear accidents meeting this definition, totaling more than $20.5 billion in damages, occurred worldwide from 1952 to 2009 – or more than one incident and $330 million in damage every year, on average, for the past three decades. And, of course, this average does not include the Fukushima catastrophe.
Indeed, when compared to other energy sources, nuclear power ranks higher than oil, coal, and natural gas systems in terms of fatalities, second only to hydroelectric dams. There have been 57 accidents since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. While only a few involved fatalities, those that did collectively killed more people than have died in commercial US airline accidents since 1982.
Another index of nuclear-power accidents – this one including costs beyond death and property damage, such as injured or irradiated workers and malfunctions that did not result in shutdowns or leaks – documented 956 incidents from 1942 to 2007. And yet another documented more than 30,000
mishaps at US nuclear-power plants alone, many with the potential to have caused serious meltdowns, between the 1979 accident at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania and 2009.
Mistakes are not limited to reactor sites. Accidents at the Savannah River reprocessing plant released ten times as much radio­iodine as the accident at Three Mile Island, and a fire at the Gulf United facility in New York in 1972 scattered an undisclosed amount of plutonium, forcing the plant to shut down permanently.
At the Mayak Industrial Reprocessing Complex in Russia's southern Urals, a storage tank holding nitrate acetate salts exploded in 1957, releasing a massive amount of radioactive material over 20,000 square kilometers, forcing the evacuation of 272,000 people. In September 1994, an explosion at Indonesia's Serpong research reactor was triggered by the ignition of methane gas that had seeped from a storage room and exploded when a worker lit a cigarette.
Accidents have also occurred when nuclear reactors are shut down for refueling or to move spent nuclear fuel into storage. In 1999, operators loading spent fuel into dry-storage at the Trojan Reactor in Oregon found that the protective zinc-carbon coating had started to produce hydrogen, which caused a small explosion.
Unfortunately, on-­site accidents at nuclear reactors and fuel facilities are not the only cause of concern. The August 2003 blackout in the northeastern US revealed that more than a dozen nuclear reactors in the US
and Canada were not properly maintaining backup diesel generators. In Ontario during the blackout, reactors designed to unlink from the grid automatically and remain in standby mode instead went into full shutdown, with only two of twelve reac­tors behaving as expected.
As environmental lawyers Richard Webster and Julie LeMense argued in 2008, "the nuclear industry…is like the financial industry was prior to the crisis" that erupted that year. "[T]here are many risks that are not being properly managed or regulated."
This state of affairs is worrying, to say the least, given the severity of harm that a single serious accident can cause. The meltdown of a 500-megawatt reactor located 30 miles from a city would cause the immediate
death of an estimated 45,000 people, injure roughly another 70,000, and cause $17 billion in property damage.
A successful attack or accident at the Indian Point power plant near New York City, apparently part of Al Qaeda's original plan for September 11, 2001, would have resulted in 43,700 immediate fatalities and 518,000 cancer deaths, with cleanup costs reaching $2 trillion.
To put a serious accident in context, according to data from my forthcoming book* Contesting the Future of Nuclear Power*, if 10 million people were exposed to radiation from a complete nuclear meltdown (the containment structures fail completely, exposing the inner reactor core to air), about 100,000 would die from acute radiation sickness within six weeks. About 50,000 would experience acute breathlessness, and 240,000 would develop acute hypothyroidism. About 350,000 males would be temporarily sterile,
100,000 women would stop menstruating, and 100,000 children would be born with cognitive deficiencies. There would be thousands of spontaneous abortions and more than 300,000 later cancers.
Advocates of nuclear energy have made considerable political headway around the world in recent years, touting it as a safe, clean, and reliable alternative to fossil fuels. But the historical record clearly shows
otherwise. Perhaps the unfolding tragedy in Japan will finally be enough to stop the nuclear renaissance from materialising.

*Benjamin K. Sovacool, a professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, is the author of **Contesting the Future of Nuclear Power** and co-author of the forthcoming **The International Politics of Nuclear Power**.*

*This article was first published by Project Syndicate<http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/bjsovacool1/English>

Appeal for financial solidarity with the victims and evacuees of the worst Northeastern-Japan earthquake/tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster

Appeal for financial solidarity with the victims and evacuees of the worst Northeastern-Japan earthquake/tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster

Japan Revolutionary Communist League (JRCL)
National Council of Internationalist Workers (NCIW)

March 17, 2011

On March 11, at 2:30 PM (JST), the tremendously powerful earthquake of magnitude 9 hit the vast area of Eastern Japan, comprised of Northeast and Kanto regions. The earthquake gave rise to the formidable tsunami, and the latter devastated numerous cities and towns all along the Pacific coast from the northernmost prefecture of Aomori to the southern Chiba prefecture. At the time of March 17, the number of deaths and missing persons is already close to 20,000, and the number continues to increase.

At the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant of the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the symbol of Japan as a “major nuclear-power nation”, all six nuclear reactors from No.1 to No. 6 were damaged and impaired due to the earthquake and tsunami. All the reactors have gone out of control more or less, and dreadful extraordinary phenomena have developing such as gas explosions, fires of housing buildings, reactor-core meltdowns and radiation leaks and spills. The danger of Chernobyl-type nuclear disaster seems to be becoming more and more real. Within a 30-kilometer radius from the nuclear plant, residents have already been ordered to evacuate from the area.

There are now 500,000 evacuees who have lost their houses and/or their dearest family members. Those evacuees have lost their dwellings and foundations of livelihood, due to the threefold sufferings from the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster. Fuel, food, clothing and medicine are terribly in short supply at evacuation sites that have assembled those people who lost their dwellings under the bitter cold.

In this rich and advanced capitalist country of Japan, there have been increase of unemployment and job insecurity, widening social disparity between rich and poor, disintegration of agrarian and fishery rural communities, and discarding of various social securities under the neoliberal policies of the capital. Those victimized social layers are the hardest hit by the earthquake and tsunami.

The earthquake-tsunami damages and the nuclear disaster will widen the structural crisis of Japanese capitalism, and the ruling capitalist regime and its social forces will necessarily expand and strengthen their social, economic and political attacks against the suffered population and the whole working masses.

At the earthquake/tsunami-stricken areas of Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, our comrades and co-worker union-activists have already begun activities to support suffered people and to defend their lives and social rights. The pressing priority is to procure food, fuel and housing for the suffered and to secure employment for those who lost their workplaces. Our comrades and co-workers strive to develop and expand popular and autonomous initiatives among working masses and local residents all through their activities.

We call on our international comrades and friends to extend their financial solidarity to the activities of the Miyagi and Fukushima comrades and co-workers.

Furthermore, we call on the international comrades and friends.

The terrible disaster of Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant has made it absolutely clear once again that the nuclear energy is to damage the environment irreparably, to ruin the agriculture and fishery and accelerate the food crisis accordingly, and to put the survival of human being on the earth into a fatal crisis. The capitalist propaganda about “nuclear power generation as efficient and clean resources of energy” has been definitely proved to be an outright lie. The Japanese government and the TEPCO are hiding the truth of the Fukushima disaster and worsening the nuclear crisis further.

Please intensify your global campaigns to oppose the nuclear energy and to abolish nuclear power plants. Advances of your anti-nuclear campaigns are surely to encourage the Japanese sufferers and evacuees and resisting workers and popular masses here.

With our thanks to your encouragements and solidarity to us.

International donations are collected via Europe solidaire sans frontières (ESSF), Europe in Solidarity Without Borders :

cheques to ESSF in euros only to be sent to:
2, rue Richard-Lenoir
93100 Montreuil

Bank Account:
Crédit lyonnais
Agence de la Croix-de-Chavaux (00525)
10 boulevard Chanzy
93100 Montreuil
ESSF, account number 445757C

International bank account details :
IBAN : FR85 3000 2005 2500 0044 5757 C12
Account holder : ESSF

To see ESSF international appeal: Japan : an urgent appeal at financial solidarity