Green Party Of Florida Issues Statement On Second Anniversary Of Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

 

(Distributed by the Green Party of the United States, http://www.gp.org)

GREEN PARTY OF FLORIDA
http://www.gpfl.org

For Immediate Release – March 11, 2013

Contacts:
Steve Showen (305) 712-2738
Michael Canney  (352) 213-8885

GREEN PARTY STATEMENT ON SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF FUKUSHIMA NUCLEAR DISASTER

On the second anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear accident, the Green
Party of Florida expresses condolences to Japanese victims of this
ongoing disaster, and solidarity with the people of Japan who have
mobilized a growing popular movement against nuclear power.

Florida Greens welcome Duke Energy’s permanent closure of the Crystal
River nuclear plant, and call on Duke Energy and FPL to cancel new
nuclear projects in Florida and return Cost Recovery funds to
customers.

Florida Greens call on Gov. Scott and State Legislature to become more
informed about the risks and real costs of nuclear power and fossil
fuels, and to lead Florida in a bold 21st Century Clean Energy
Initiative that invests in conservation & efficiency, solar and clean
renewables.

On March 11, 2011 Japan experienced an earthquake and tsunami that
resulted in multiple catastrophic failures of nuclear reactors at the
Fukushima Daichi nuclear power complex. The explosions and meltdowns
at Fukushima, and the subsequent leaks that continue to occur, have
released massive quantities of deadly radiation into the air and
water. The negative health effects of the Fukushima disaster are
global, and the radioactive isotopes that have been released from the
damaged reactors in Fukushima, and that continue to leak into the
soil, air and water, will continue to cause sickness and premature
death for many generations yet unborn.

The Green Party of Florida welcomes Duke Energy’s decision to
permanently close its damaged nuclear power facility in Crystal River,
which would have required an investment of several billion dollars by
Duke’s Florida customers to repair an aging reactor scheduled for
decommissioning in 2016.

“As we mark the 2nd anniversary of the still-unfolding Fukushima
nuclear disaster, the grave risks of operating these aging nuclear
power plants beyond their original life span should be reconsidered,”
said Michael Canney, GPFL spokesperson and clean energy advocate.
“Greens have always opposed the NRC’s rubber stamping of 20-year
license extensions and ‘uprates’ for aging nuclear power plants in the
U.S., so that big utilities can avoid decommissioning and continue
generating profits.” Canney adds. “This practice is a dangerous form
of nuclear “Russian Roulette” that will unnecessarily put public
health and safety at risk, when there are safer and much more
economical alternatives available. Decommissioning Crystal River is
the right thing to do.”

Duke Energy’s plan to replace aging nuclear and coal powered base load
generation facilities with generators powered by natural gas may make
sense from a business perspective, but burning more fossil fuels is at
best only a temporary solution. What is urgently needed is a
commitment by our elected officials and the corporations that produce
electricity to move beyond the dead-end fossil fuel energy economy to
an energy policy that promotes conservation, efficiency and clean,
sustainable energy technologies. Instead of wasting billions on
expanding nuclear power generation, Florida needs to invest in a bold
new green energy initiative that will increase efficiency, reduce
consumption, and create thousands of “green energy” jobs.

Instituting statewide efficiency and conservation measures alone would
avert the need for another large base load plant, and it would utilize
the cheapest form of energy, energy we don’t use. Instead, Duke Energy
plans to not only build natural gas (frack gas) powered generators as
a replacement for the Crystal River nuke, Duke also plans to build two
brand new nuclear reactors in rural Levy County, with funds collected
in advance from their utility customers. If the current cost estimates
are accurate, these nuclear power plants will be the most expensive
ever built. They will consume millions of gallons of water every day,
and put at risk the precious aquifer and freshwater springs of the
Nature Coast.

“Crystal River already presents a massive long-term radioactive waste
problem, and there is currently no plan for safely disposing of the
hundreds of tons of highly radioactive fuel rods that are stored
there,” said Jennifer Sullivan, Hernando County resident and co-chair
of the Green Party of Florida. “Why should Florida utility ratepayers
be forced to subsidize a ridiculously expensive nuclear power plant in
Levy County, which will put the entire Nature Coast at risk?”

Rather than wait for a ruling by the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board
on a pending legal challenge to the project, which is focused on
protection of the local and regional water resources from the negative
impacts of the Levy Nuclear Plant, Duke Energy should immediately
announce the cancellation of this $24 billion Levy County boondoggle
and refund the money the company has already charged its customers
under the ill-conceived Nuclear Cost Recovery law, which Greens and
others have called a “license to steal.”

“When all the costs and risks are taken into consideration, nuclear
power is a bad investment, and a dead end technology. It should not be
subsidized at the expense of investing in energy efficiency and
cleaner and safer sustainable energy technologies, that will reduce
dangerous wastes and toxic emissions, ” said Steve Showen, Green Party
of Florida co-chair. He adds, “With alternative technologies becoming
now as cheap as fossil fuel systems, even natural gas, the door is
open to a new world of safe, clean and secure energy production. The
U.S. is falling behind in the global manufacture, sales and
installation of these systems, held hostage by our domestic fossil
fuel and nuclear industries.”

Florida Greens strongly believe our “Sunshine State” has a golden
opportunity to lead the way in deploying currently available clean and
sustainable technologies, and incorporating them into a more
democratic distributed energy network. Investing in locally produced
power and allowing smaller independent producers to sell energy to a
smart grid would make our state’s energy grid more secure from
disasters, whether natural or man-made.

The Green Party of Florida calls upon Gov. Scott, the Florida
legislature and the Public Service Commission to support a bold and
innovative 21st Century Clean Energy Initiative, that prioritizes
conservation and efficiency and invests in solar and other clean
renewables. Citizens need and deserve an energy policy that is based
on the best interests of the public rather than the financial
interests of private energy companies.

For more information about the Green Party:

Green Party of Florida  www.gpfl.org
Green Party of the United States  http://gp.org

Green Party leaders call for a moratorium on nuclear plants, insist
that the Fukushima catastrophe quashes the myth that nuclear energy is
a safe alternative
GPUS Press Release – March 15, 2011
http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=401

Public Service Commission Gives Nuclear Utilities License to Steal
Millions from Ratepayers
“Early Cost Recovery” scam approved to fund upgrading of aging
reactors and new nukes that may never be built
GPFL Press Release – November 7, 2011
http://www.prlog.org/11716387-public-service-commission-gives-nuclear-utilities-license-to-steal-millions-from-ratepayers.html

2-23-10  Florida faces nuclear threat (Green Pages)
http://gp.org/greenpages-blog/?p=2143

4-7-11 Green Party of Florida Joins Legal Challenge to Contest Nuclear
Reactor Design Approval
http://www.prlog.org/11424650-green-party-of-florida-joins-legal-challenge-to-contest-nuclear-reactor-design-approval.html

Fukushima films

311: Surviving Japan (Documentary to be officially released 3/11/13)
http://survivingjapanmovie.com/

KAKUSEI: The Fukushima End
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQydg6d05kU&feature=youtu.be

Filmmaker reveals enduring cost of Fukushima contamination
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201303100036

For more information about nuclear power

Symposium and press conference in New York City on March 11: Medical
and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident. On the
2nd anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, nuclear industry
watchdogs, public health advocates, scientists and citizen activists
are gathering in NY for a 2-day symposium. (Livestreamed, to be
archived) http://www.nuclearfreeplanet.org/symposium.html

Beyond Nuclear  http://www.beyondnuclear.org

Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS)  http://www.nirs.org

Nuclear news

Asahi Shimbun – Fukushima Disaster News
http://ajw.asahi.com/category/0311disaster/fukushima/

Japan’s cleanup lags from tsunami, nuke accident
http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/japans-cleanup-lags-tsunami-nuke-accident-18695420

‘No Nukes!’: Fukushima Protesters Out in Force Ahead of Two-Year Anniversary
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/03/09-0

On Fukushima anniversary: Protesters rail against Abe, reactors
Nearly 300 events held nationwide to voice anger at government
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/03/10/national/protesters-rail-against-abe-reactors/

Taiwan: Up to 200,000 protest nuclear energy
By Ann Yu / The China Post /  March 10, 2013
http://www.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/national/national-news/2013/03/10/372647/Up-to.htm

Florida news

Questions and answers about Crystal River nuclear plant
Tampa Bay Times staff – February 6, 2013
http://www.tampabay.com/news/questions-and-answers-about-crystal-river-nuclear-plant/1273798

Duke Energy announces closing of Crystal River nuclear power plant
Tampa Bay Times – Posted February 5, 2013
http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/energy/duke-energy-announces-closing-of-crystal-river-nuclear-power-plant/1273794

Editorial: Close Crystal River nuclear plant for good
Tampa Bay Times – February 5, 2013
http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/editorials/close-crystal-river-nuclear-plant-for-good/1273720

Crystal River nuclear plant: $1.3B and counting
Tampa Bay Times – February 3, 2013
http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/energy/crystal-river-nuclear-plant-13b-and-counting/1273570

####

Leave a Reply