Today, 261 NGOs and civil society organizations working on environmental and energy issues and groups of people affected by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster issued an open letter to the European Commission, requesting that nuclear power should not be included in the EU taxonomy.
“From uranium mining to nuclear power plant operations and decommissioning, nuclear power plants generate radioactive waste and continue to emit radioactive materials into the environment, in direct opposition to being environmentally sustainable," the letter said. It pointed out that “the inclusion of nuclear power in the EU Taxonomy and the EU giving its stamp on nuclear power as being green would not only undermine the credibility of the EU Taxonomy, but also leave a significant negative legacy for the future of the EU and the world."
The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster is not over. The high-level radioactive waste needs to be managed deep underground for more than 100,000 years, but the final waste disposal site has not been decided upon in Japan, nor in many other countries. Environmental contamination and human rights violations also continue to occur in the process of mining uranium, used as a fuel. Taking into account those problems, the letter criticized that making nuclear energy a climate change measure would be against the ‘do no significant harm’ (DNSH) principle of the EU Taxonomy.
Ms. Ruiko Muto, president of The Liaison Committee for Organizations of Victims of the Nuclear Disaster, one of the organizations which signed the letter, stated: “Considering that serious damage continues long after the nuclear accident, there is no way that nuclear power plants are environmentally friendly energy".
Ayumi Fukakusa, climate change and energy campaigner at Friends of the Earth Japan said: “Nuclear energy will continue to produce nuclear waste that needs to be managed over a very long period of time, placing a heavy burden on future generations. It has a major negative impact on both the environment and society. It is unacceptable to place nuclear energy in the EU taxonomy when people are still suffering from the nuclear accident".
“This is a situation I have been worried about. The use of nuclear power as a climate change measure is nothing less than the continuation of the society that has produced climate change, a society in which some people profit, externalize contradictions and damages, and sacrifice others. What we need is not to simply decarbonize the society, but to realize climate justice," said Koichiro Shigihara of Fridays For Future Sendai.
Please see the open letter for more detail.