Water IS Life: Stop Polluting the Pacific Ocean!
Today, we observe the 6th anniversary of the ongoing nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station in Japan. Six years after what is arguably the world’s worst nuclear disaster, one which was avoidable even under the extraordinary conditions of the massive earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011, Japan’s destroyed reactors continue to dump between 300-400 tons of water contaminated with radionuclides daily into the Pacific Ocean. These radioactive discharges not only represent an immediate health threat to the local bio-systems, they have now been detected with certainty as far away as the U.S. Pacific West Coast.
After 6 years we have seen:
- the failure of the ice wall containment to keep radioactive run-off water out of the Pacific Ocean;
- the ever growing contaminated water tank farms;
- confirmation of three complete core melts, with no idea how to clean them up;
- government imposition of radiation standards on the general population of Japan, especially young school children most vulnerable to the effects of radiation, many times greater than those allowed for nuclear plant workers in Europe and North America;
- accusations taken to the United Nations of human rights violations perpetrated against children and women in Japan from the contaminated areas;
- corruption complaints against the numerous private contractors conducting the so-called cleanup efforts;
- and finally, the daily flow of 400 tons of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean – the WORLD’S largest body of surface water.
In spite of Japan’s best efforts, it is clear that no substantive progress has been made, and no solution is in sight. Fukushima is now a WORLD catastrophe. It requires a WORLD intervention.
In essence Japan’s inability to contain the ongoing Fukushima disaster constitutes a crime against humanity, one that will last far into the future. It also demonstrates Japan’s inability to get the situation under control on its own, a situation which therefore calls for international intervention – voluntarily accepted or not; and/or sanctions from the world community whose health and future the continued contamination jeopardizes.
As we learned this past year at Oceti Sakowin (Standing Rock), “Water is Life;” and the Pacific Ocean is the WORLD’S water. Japan must consider internationalization of the continued efforts to stop the Fukushima catastrophe. We feel there is no choice remaining but to petition the United Nations to create an international intervention team to stop the ongoing contamination of the Pacific Ocean, and of Japan.