SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

Continuing Coverage of Japan’s Nuclear Crisis


Fukushima_Rethink_NotRestartSix years have now passed since the tragic Fukushima nuclear disaster occurred in Japan. The ongoing situation is far from stable and this dangerous situation has yet to be fully brought under control — the stabilization and clean-up of the site has posed exceedingly difficult challenges and the price tag continues to climb with estimates of nearly $200 billion. Clearly, the nuclear crisis in Japan has affected the world — it is a shared problem with no easy solution in sight. Of 54 operating reactors at the time of the accident, only two have restarted.

japan-to-help-tepco-pay-nuclear-victims-2011-05-13_afp.jpgWhat happened?
On March 11, 2011 a massive earthquake followed by a devastating tsunami struck Japan, killing nearly 20,000 people and displacing hundreds of thousands. Those natural disasters, combined with other human-factors, led to a large-scale, triple nuclear reactor meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex, which also forced thousands to flee their homes. Even six years later, more than 70,000 people from that area still remain displaced from their homes–thousands will never be able to return in their lifetimes. In terms of the health impacts from the disaster, a report by Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) predicted that residents of the Fukushima area and the rest of Japan will experience more than 10,000 excess cancer deaths as a result of radiation exposure from the accident.

nukecrisiscaption.jpgSACE tracked the disaster via SACE’s Clean Energy Footprints blog – find Fukushima-related blogs here.

Related Legal/Regulatory Challenges

Unfortunately, not enough progress has been made to protect communities from the current fleet of nuclear reactors. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) issued a report for the 5th anniversary, “Preventing an American Fukushima,” about the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) inadequate response to the Fukushima disaster; the NRC rejected or watered down many of the recommendations its own task force and others made to make U.S. reactors safer in light of Fukushima.

Many legal challenges were filed related to the Fukushima nuclear disaster with the NRC by a coalition of groups across the country, including SACE. Some past examples include, but are not limited to the following:

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