Nuclear disaster at Fukushima marked by Gloucestershire campaigners
NUCLEAR protestors marked the third anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster with a memorial overlooking Berkeley and Oldbury power stations.
Severnside Together Against Nuclear Development (STAND) held a memorial for the victims of the 2011 Japanese tragedy.
The Fukushima Daiichi failure of three of the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant’s six nuclear reactors occurred when the plant was hit by a tsunami triggered by an earthquake.
As substantial amounts of radioactive materials began being released, Fukushima became the largest nuclear incident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
Vigils, protests and marches were organised around the world during the Fukushima anniversary week.
STAND is a non-political, non-violent pressure group dedicated to stopping the building of a new nuclear power station at Oldbury.
STAND organised a memorial at Lydney Docks last Tuesday afternoon, chosen for its view across the River Severn to both Oldbury and Berkeley nuclear power stations on the opposite bank.
Messages of condolence were written to the people of Fukushima, to be translated and delivered to the Mayor of Fukushima.
Molly Scott-Cato, the Green Party MEP candidate for the South West, Steve Parry-Hearn, the Labour candidate for the Forest of Dean and a spokesperson from STAND gave speeches and threw flowers into the river.
STAND’s John French said they had huge safety concerns with the storage of nuclear waste and the future use of nuclear energy.
A new power station is being proposed for the Oldbury site and while Berkeley Power Station is in the decommissioning process, Oldbury’s nuclear waste is going to be stored at Berkeley. “They just don’t know what to do with nuclear waste. It creates a huge risk having it there. If there was a leak, the consequences don’t bear thinking about.
“If a similar thing happened at Oldbury that happened at Fukushima, with the same exclusion zone the whole of Bristol would have to be evacuated.”
Barbara French of STAND added: “The day was organised to remember the victims of the terrible meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors three years ago, which is still ongoing, and to highlight the dangers of expanding nuclear power in our crowded island.
“We believe that to build a huge new nuclear power station - and to store highly radioactive waste at Berkeley, one mile away across the river, which is another of the Government’s proposals - is sheer folly and will leave a deadly legacy for future generations.
“We do not want any more Fukushima type catastrophes here, or anywhere in the world.”
In reference to Fukushima, a spokesman for Magnox, who run the sites, said: “The UK design its nuclear reactors to withstand the kind of event that would happen no more than once every 10,000 years and we have put lots of effort into older facilities, such as Oldbury, to ensure that they continue to meet appropriate safety standards.”
They added that in order to move waste from Oldbury to Berkeley, planning permission to store the waste on site would be needed as it would be a change of use on site, and that this would involve a full consultation process.
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