• This is an open letter to Copeland MP Trudy Harrison.

As we near the 10th anniversary of the Fukushima disaster tomorrow, two former Japanese prime ministers have sent a message to Japan that should also be heeded in Cumbria.

Naoto Kan and Junichiro Koizumi have urged Japan to stop using nuclear power, saying the country should learn from the Fukushima crisis and turn to renewable energy.

Both were, like you, strong proponents of nuclear power while in office but became critics following the earthquake, tsunami and resulting triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

“Japan has so much natural sources of energy like solar power, hydropower and wind power. Why should we use something that’s more expensive and less safe?” said Koizumi at a joint press conference.

The former prime ministers, from opposite ends of the political spectrum, have said opposing nuclear energy is a non-partisan stance. Here in Cumbria, Radiation Free Lakeland has supporters from all political backgrounds united in opposition to new nuclear build and dispersal of wastes to the environment.

Former Prime Minister Kan refers to the entrenched interests of utility companies and government agencies who constitute the ‘nuclear power village’. He has gone on to say that “they know it would be too expensive to build new plants, and there’s no way to properly dispose of nuclear waste. But there are a lot of stakeholders and they want to keep it that way,”

At Sellafield the site continues to require eyewatering amounts of energy, resulting in almost 300,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases, which include the refrigerants needed to keep the wastes cool.

It is beyond time to turn our back on new nuclear, to be good caretakers of the existing wastes and to make sure we never have to be forced by nuclear catastrophe to turn our backs on the land of Copeland glory.


Radiation Free Lakeland