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Naturefriends urgently demand exit from atomic energy

Vienna, 14 March 2011
Naturfriends International (NFI) demands speedy, worldwide exit from atomic energy and calls upon the European Union to wind up the EURATOM Community with immediate effect and to transform it into an agency for sustainable energy generation and energy efficiency.

The apparent MHA at the Japanese Fukushima reactors demonstrates that nuclear energy defies control. Building new nuclear reactors or keeping obsolete installations in operation and thereby endangering millions of human lives are patent acts of irresponsibility.

Many national Naturefriends organisations are currently calling for an exit from atomic energy at both the national and the international level: Naturefriends Germany emphatically oppose the life extension of the German nuclear plants and last evening issued a call for a vigil – attended by 2’500 people –in front of the Federal Chancellery in Berlin. Naturefriends Austria actively supported the Austrian popular petition for an exit from the EURATOM Treaty.

NFI – the international umbrella organisation of Naturefriends with over 500'000 members worldwide – demands a responsible energy policy, in other words the immediate exit from nuclear energy, considering that the risks can be neither reliably assessed nor controlled. This fact is borne out dramatically by the MHA in Japan.

Obviously a cataclysmic accident has occurred at the Fukushima nuclear power station at about 250 kilometres northeast of the Japanese capital Tokyo. Since a severe earthquake and a subsequent tsunami caused the cooling systems to fail, meltdown is supposed to have set in at several reactors. In the case of power failure, The emergency cooling system which depends on electric power, was knocked out by power failure. The outcome is particularly disastrous, when several plants and reactors are affected at one and the same time. In recent years, there have also been repeated reports about near-accidents at European nuclear power stations, caused by emergency generators failing to work or not being sufficiently powerful.
It goes without saying that there can be no comparison between the weak tectonic zones in Japan and those in central Europe. Yet, there are such regions also Europe – e.g. in Turkey – where the construction of nuclear power stations is in an advanced planning stage. The consequences of an accident in the metropolitan area of Istanbul would certainly be comparable to the hazards that may currently threaten Tokyo.

Naturefriends are far from banking on a policy that relies on people’s fear of catastrophes. Still, current events in Japan bring home the potential magnitude of the impact this catastrophe may have on people and nature and the fact that nuclear energy defies 100 percent control and causes irreversible damage.

NFI is the international umbrella organisation of the Naturefriends movement, uniting over 50 member and partner organisations. It is a member of the Green 10, and with 500’000 members one of the biggest NGOs worldwide.

Queries and contact:
Anita Pinter
Naturefriends International
Public Relations
Tel.: +43 (0)1 89 23 877-24
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