According to reports on June 9 by Internet media such as Vietnam’s An Ninh Tien Ten, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has approved the relocation of residents to make way for Ninh Thuan 1 and 2, two nuclear power plants slated for construction in the country’s south-central coastal province of Ninh Thuan. A total of 4,911 people in 1,288 households are part of the relocation plans, with the number for Ninh Thuan 2 (which is receiving assistance from Japan) being 2,827 people in 811 households. The reported total investment into the relocation plan will amount to 3 trillion Vietnamese dong (3,235,526 million VND, or about 18.7 billion Japanese yen), and Vietnam Electricity (EVN), the country’s main public utility responsible for nuclear power plants is to bear the full amount.
There are many problems with the promotion of nuclear power generation in Vietnam:
- It will create an energy infrastructure premised on excessive electricity consumption.
- There has still been no public discussion about the risks of nuclear power.
- There has been no debate about the management and disposal of radioactive waste on the span of hundreds of thousands of years.
- There are concerns that there will be no systems in place to provide accurate information to residents and protect human life in the event of an accident or incident.
- The projects involve mountains of debt, despite serious doubts about their economic
In addition to those concerns, for the proposed Ninh Thuan 2 site, no assessment reports have been published regarding the impacts on spawning sites of green turtles, national parks, the water source supplying drinking water to the region, and nearby villages and the historical sites of the indigenous Cham people.
It may be possible for construction plans to be derailed, but proceeding now with the relocation of residents is putting the nuclear construction project on a track and it leads to serious human rights violations.
For the following reasons, we citizens of Japan express our opposition to the Japanese government’s planned export of nuclear power plants, and also express our serious concerns about the Vietnamese government’s promotion of the nuclear power plant construction projects.
1. Accident in 2011 at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan still not resolved, and no resolution is yet in sight.
To win the bid for the 2020 Olympics, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in September 2013 made the remarks that the Fukushima accident was “under control,” but his words were very different from reality. Fukushima Daiichi is still generating a huge amount of contaminated water, and efforts to control it are exposing many workers to radiation. Some of the contaminated water is still being washed into the sea. In addition, no technology yet exists in Japan to decommission the nuclear power plant containing melted nuclear fuel.
2. More than four years and three months after the accident, about 120,000 people (from Fukushima Prefecture alone, not counting other prefectures) are still evacuated from their homes to locations inside and outside the prefecture. Fukushima has prominent number of death related to the 2011 disaster, and the damage continues to this day.
Residents who evacuated from homes contaminated by radioactive material from the accident have still not been able to return, and their resettlement in other locations is still not decided. Meanwhile, some of the voluntary evacuees who were not eligible for government assistance are suffering from economic hardship. In addition, among the 10 prefectures affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, the number of people who died from indirect causes such as a worsening of physical condition or from strain after the disaster is prominent in Fukushima Prefecture, it alone counts 1,793 (total 3,194 for the 10 prefectures; figures as of December 2014). These numbers include persons who committed suicide due to pessimism about the future.
Fukushima Cooperative Reconstruction Center
Reconstruction Agency (Japan)
3. Health damage caused by the nuclear accident
In a study by the Fukushima Prefecture government to diagnose children for malignant thyroid cancer, 126 cases were suspected of being malignant (of which 103 cases were confirmed). For many of them this has been accompanied by lymph node metastasis. The government has stated that it cannot imagine a causal relationship with the accident, and with a large-scale study this time, thyroid cancer that would have normally been discovered later were found ahead. However, the second round of testing that began in April 2014 found 15 children that had been diagnosed as healthy in the first round to now have actual or suspected thyroid cancer, so the government’s explanation has been refuted.
No studies have been conducted for diseases other than thyroid cancer, so it is difficult for anyone to grasp the whole situation.
4. Enormous cost of damage in the event of an accident: The costs of the Fukushima Daiichi accident are estimated at about 11 trillion yen (2014 estimate, including compensation costs). How much higher will the total become? No one knows.
According to a report by NHK on March 11, 2014, decontamination, compensation, and costs of decommissioning the damaged plant were as much as 11 trillion yen. There have also been many compensation-related complaints from residents, businesses, and municipalities that suffered damage from the accident. The dispute resolution body set up by the Japanese government (Nuclear Damage Dispute Resolution Center) reported that it had received 16,601 cases as of June 12, 2015.
5. Impacts of excessive debt on future generations of Vietnamese
Vietnam already owes Japan a cumulative total of over 2.2 trillion yen (2,281,475 million yen; ODA Country Data Book 2014) for past official development assistance loans. Even with a variety of technical assistance from Japan, construction of a nuclear power plant, which is reportedly costs 4 trillion yen for one plant, is projected to create an enormous debt. Also, as indicated above, the damages are huge in the event of an accident. If a plant is eventually built, the handling of an accident is not the only problem. The debt repayment would also become a huge burden on the people of Vietnam.
For the reasons stated above, we the undersigned call upon the Government of Japan to halt nuclear exports to Vietnam. We also express our serious concerns about Vietnam’s promotion of this project. In the interest of friendly relations between the two countries for a long time into the future, we call upon the Government of Vietnam to reconsider this project.
Organizations Signing This Statement
A Seed Japan
Aichi Prefectural Federation of Trade Union
Alternative People’s Linkage in Asia
Anti-nuclear power plants movement Ibaraki Network(Japan)
Asia-Japan Women’s Resource Center
ayus: Network of Buddhists Volunteers on International Cooperation
Beqerel Free Hokkaido
Campaign for Nuclear-free Japan
Citizens Environmental Foundation
Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center
Community-based Development Initiatives Center
Dathugenpatsu Tokai Jhuku
Depleted Uranium Center Japan
Development education study group in Kyoto
Eco Future Fund Environmental Network Kumamoto
FEMIN Women’s Democratic Club
Food Policy Center Vision21
Fukuoka NGO forum on ADB
Fukuoka Tikugoudouroudou Kumiai
Fukushima Beacon for Global Citizens Network
Funabasi siminn Ombudsman
Gennpatu Sonngaibaisyou Sosyou Kyoto Gennkokudan
Genpatsu Maker Sosho no Kai
Genpatsuirannen Hikone Oshaberi Walk
Genpatu Okotowari Mieno Kai
Genshiryoku Kyouiku wo kangaeru kai / Panel for Nuclear Education
Globalization Watch Hiroshima
Green Harmony Chofu
Hairo Action Fukushima
Hakaru-Sapporo Citizens’ Station for Measuring Radioactivity in Sapporo
Inotito Heiwao Kanngaeru Jyuminn Kaigi
Japan Association of Environment and Society for the 21st Century
Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society
Japan Europe Forum
Jubilee Kansai Network
Kakegawa 9-jo no kai
Kakunensaikuru Sosi Ichimannin Sosyou Genkokudan
Kanagawaken Roudou Kumiai Kyoutou Kaigi
Kankyo Kyoiku Fukuoka
Kansai Kara Syokutaku wo Kangaeru Kai
Kazashimo no kai, Fukushima
Kodomo no Miraio Nozomimirutai
Kodomotachi no Miraiwo Kanngaeru Oyano Kai
Kodomotatini Miraiwo Watasitai.Oosakano Kai
Lawsuit Against The Nuclear Reactor Suppliers
Moritokurasu Donguri Club
Nagoya Center for Philippine Concerns
Niji to Midori no Kai
No Nukes Asia Forum Japan
Nonukes Oita Network
North east Asia Information Center (Hiroshima)
Nuclear Phase-out TEPCO Shareholder’s Movement
ODA Reform Network Kansai
Pacific Asia Resource Center (PARC)
People’s Forum on Cambodia, Japan (PEFOC,J)
Plutonium free communication Kanagawa
Relieve the World Children in Poverty
SAORI to Viet Nam
Sarawak Campaign Committee
Sayonara Genkaigenpatu no Kai, Kurume
Sayonara Genpatsu Inagawa Action
Sayonara – Genpatsu Mitaka Action
Sayounara Kasiwazakikariwa Gennpatu Project
Senior Workers-coop Sendai
Shinagawa’s Women Who Consider Nuclear Power Generation
Sophia Farm Community
Southern Hokkaido Renewable Energy Project (NPO)
Stop Nukewaste Campaign, Chubu
Stop the Nuclear Power Plant/Madams meeting
Support Network for State Redress Lawsuits in Japan
Tadasunomori ECO Research
Tepco kabunushi daihyo Sosho
The Hiroshima-setouchi simbun
The Human Rights and Peace Network in Ube
The Peace and Nuclear Issues Committee of the National Christian Council in Japan (NCCJ)
The Takagi Fund for Citizen Science
Tokachi Bare Project Zikkoui Innkai
Tokai No Nukes Network for Future Generations
Wind of Citizens toward Uniting for Peace