The radiological tragedy at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant is far from over.
If the Unit 4 fuel pool collapses, radioactive particles would be sent around the world, increasing the risk of cancer and mutagenic effects throughout the Northern Hemisphere.
We need to act before it is too late.
This petition was created by members of the Manhattan Project. We are concerned New Yorkers working together to use art and activism to abolish nuclear weapons and nuclear power.
Support an International Emergency Operation at Fukushima
Dear Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand:
We urge you to support an emergency, international effort to shore-up Reactor #4 and to remove the irradiated fuel from its badly damaged fuel pool 100 feet above ground at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Complex in Northeast Japan. Given the almost daily seismic activity of the region, and the fact that in excess of 1,000 irradiated fuel assembles are exposed to the open air, this is a matter of grave and immediate concern — not only for the Japanese government and the Japanese people, but for people all around the world.
Your colleague, Senator Wyden of Oregon, personally toured the nuclear facility, stating that “the precarious status of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear units and the risk presented by the enormous inventory of radioactive materials and spent fuel in the event of further earthquake threats should be of concern to all and a focus of greater international support and assistance.”
According to Robert Alvarez, Senior Scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies who has served as senior policy adviser to the US Department of Energy:
• A loss of water in Reactor #4’s fuel pool will expose the highly radioactive “spent” fuel, resulting in overheating, melting and igniting its zirconium metal cladding, resulting in a fire that could disperse large amounts of radioactive materials over hundreds and thousands of miles. Radioactivity from the first Fukushima explosions was found in milk on the East Coast of the U.S.
• The Number 4 fuel pool, and several others, are 100 feet above the ground and are completely open to the atmosphere because the reactor buildings were severely damaged by explosions. The pools could drain, topple or collapse from structural damage from the almost daily small earthquakes presently occurring, or another powerful earthquake.
• Nearly all of the 10,893 spent fuel assemblies at the six reactor Fukushima Daiichi site sit in pools vulnerable to future earthquakes, with roughly 85 times more long-lived radioactivity than was released at Chernobyl. If Reactor #4 fuel pool burns, the entire site will be too radioactive to allow workers to maintain functioning of the other fuel pools on site, thereby compounding the radioactive releases.
There is much more that the international community can and must do. Leaving huge amounts of radioactive material exposed to the open air, threatening the health and well being of life in the Northern Hemisphere is unacceptable. Arnie Gundersen, a nuclear engineer, licensed reactor operator, and former nuclear industry insider, has said that if the Unit 4 fuel pool collapses radioactive particles would be sent around the world and “all the countries in the Northern Hemisphere would suffer radioactive fallout” (source: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2012/04/494793.html).
April 26, 2012 marked the 26th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear power accident — four years shy of the first half-life of cesium 137. It will take a further 9 rounds of thirty years for the radioactivity to fully decay. The reality of Fukushima is far worse and far from over.
We urge our New York Senators to support an international emergency operation to remove the irradiated fuel from the Unit 4 cooling pool of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Complex and put it in on-site dry cask storage.
We further urge you to support New York Governor Cuomo’s efforts to shut down the two Indian Point nuclear reactors just north of New York City. We must learn how to live without an energy source that creates timeless invisible poisons, such as plutonium 239 (a by-product of all nuclear reactors) that lasts virtually forever, increases cancers and can mutate the DNA of all living things.
We must act before it is too late.