No end to the disaster - Second anniversary of the super-meltdown at Fukushima
Two years after the nuclear disaster occurred on the northeastern coast of Japan, it is clear that there have been no serious consequences for the operating concern, TEPCO. There are no criminal penalties. On the contrary, the state pumped in significant financial resources to save the nuclear group from economic bankruptcy and the profits of the major shareholders from a decline. Neither those people responsible for the disaster nor the Company's shareholders have been liable. Only some managers were replaced.
For several million people, including about 300,000 children in the contaminated areas around the wrecked nuclear power plant, the situation looks different. They continue without help, left on their own. Well over a third of the children examined by volunteer doctors in the region have thyroid abnormalities, a possible precursor of thyroid cancer. For several people there are already reasons to suspect thyroid cancer; three of them have already been operated on. The pro-government health committee denies any connection between these illnesses and radioactive fallout. High radiation levels have been measured in the whole Fukushima region. These are levels many times greater than the limits applicable to nuclear-industry employees. Foodstuff from the contaminated areas is for the most part undeclared and gets on the market more and more frequently. The decontamination moves slowly, with contaminated soil stored under plastic sheets in the open air, partly in the front yards of residents. The TEPCO Group and the government downplay dangers. The only place to find independent health care and consulting is at a hospital founded by NGOs such as „Mothers of Fukushima.“ Axel Köhler-Schnura, foundation founder and CEO of ethecon, said: „When millions of people are intentionally left in high-radioactively contaminated areas and are left unattended there, then that is pure barbarism. If those responsible for the human catastrophe in Fukushima are not brought to justice, then that is a high crime. “
At the same time the catastrophe of the Super-MCA persists. Now as before, the meltdown in the stricken reactors at Fukushima is underway and can escape control at any moment. Also the tubes connecting to the cooling pond of the exploded nuclear power plant still has an incredible 1535 fuel rods on only two walls that are already showing large cracks. A collapse - something always possible - will trigger another nuclear disaster, which will put anything that already happened in the shade. Even the megalopolis of Tokyo and its millions, which is about 155 miles away, would be contaminated.
ethecon - Foundation Ethics & Economics demands the shareholders of the energy company be held liable and its executives be punished. They made wrong decisions, without which the nuclear disaster would not have happened. These include well-known structural deficiencies, and cost-cutting in the areas of safety and maintenance. The corporate managers must be held accountable for the consequences of the disaster they created.
Together with Sayonara Genpatsu (Nuclear power, no thanks), a nuclear-critical Japanese organization in Düsseldorf, ethecon organized a demonstration on March, 9, 2013. Düsseldorf is the „European center“ of Japanese export industry. Sayonara Genpatsu was founded in 2012 within the Japanese community in Düsseldorf on the occasion of the first anniversary of the Fukushima disaster. It is a sign of deep concern in the Japanese population that even Japanese citizens living abroad are moved to protest against the nuclear policy of the Japanese government. People should be aware that even in Düsseldorf, Fukushima refugees are stranded.
The ethecon Foundation in November 2011 pilloried the Chairperson Tsunehisa Katsumata, the former Company President Masataka Shimizu and his successor Toshio Nishizawa and the major shareholders of the Energy Supply Company TEPCO by awarding them the International ethecon Black Planet Award 2011. In June 2012, a delegation of the Foundation was in Japan, where it obtained a clear picture of the situation in Fukushima. The ethecon negative prize was presented to the despised ones in cooperation with Japanese organizations and activists in a round of actions in Tokyo aimed at arousing attention. ethecon stands in solidarity on the side of the Japanese anti-nuclear movement and calls for the immediate abandonment of nuclear technology worldwide. At the same time ethecon condemned the approach of the Japanese government, which has increasingly criminalized the movement and taken increasingly repressive action against the activists.
The detailed justification for the presentation of the International Black Planet Award 2011 can be found in the dossier on the TEPCO executives in the download section of the website www.ethecon.org, with a summary in the Open Letter. For ways to show solidarity with the Japanese anti-nuclear activists, see the action section of the ethecon website.
The ethecon Foundation is best known for the annual award of its International ethecon Blue and Black Planet Awards, respectively, in Berlin. The ethecon positive prizes have honored in recent years Diane Wilson / USA (2006), Vandana Shiva / India (2007), José Abreu and Hugo Chavez / Venezuela (2008), Uri Avnery / Israel (2009), Elias Bierdel / Austria ( 2010), Angela Davis / USA (2011) and Jean Ziegler / Switzerland (2012). The ethecon negative prizes, on the other hand, pilloried sometimes named managers and shareholders of corporations MONSANTO / USA (2006), NESTLÉ / Switzerland (2007), BLACK WATER (XE) / USA (2008), FORMOSA PLASTICS GROUP / Taiwan (2009), BP / Great Britain (2010), TEPCO / Japan (2011) and GLENCORE / Switzerland (2012).
In contrast to many corporate, family, church, political and state foundations, ethecon is one of the few grassroots foundations empowered by ordinary citizens. There are currently 36 endowment contributors. Following the credo „For a world without exploitation and oppression!“, it sees its mission in its responsibility toward coming generations. The young foundation is financed through endowment contributions, donations and sustaining memberships.