ILPS calls for a worldwide campaign: Shut down all nuclear power plants!

Issued by the International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples’ Struggle

A heavy earthquake and a tsunami wave in Fukushima, Japan, on 11 March 2011 have caused the most serious nuclear catastrophe since Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  The meltdown thus caused has not yet been brought under control to date.  It can potentially make uninhabitable wide areas of the densely populated Japanese islands, contaminate with radioactivity the human food chain worldwide and cause the spread of debilitating diseases for decades to come.

The Fukushima disaster has generated further protest and resistance against the use of nuclear power worldwide and has revealed a crisis of the entire energy policy of international financial capital.

In this situation, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS)  stands with  the International Coordination of Revolutionary Parties and Organizations (ICOR) and other entities in putting forward the following call:  Organize a common international campaign for a period of one year starting from 1 September 2011 under the slogan: ”Shut down all nuclear power plants!”

Imperialist governments with electric power monopolies are promoting the local use as well as the export of nuclear power as an alternative “clean energy” to avoid the climatic catastrophe purportedly caused by the use of fossil fuels. The Japanese government, for example, has contracts to build two nuclear power plants in Vietnam and  is now trying to export it to Turkey and other countries.

Fukushima and other major nuclear catastrophes such as Three Mile Island in the U.S. in 1979 and  Chernobyl in the Ukraine in 1986 – as well as a huge number of other potentially disastrous incidents — have clearly proven that the production of nuclear power is incalculably risky and uncontrollable with the current level of technology.  It is also highly vulnerable to external forces like flood waves, earthquakes, acts of sabotage and other natural or man-made catastrophes.

Even without accidents and catastrophes, workers are unavoidably and inevitably exposed to dangerous doses of radiation throughout the entire process of generating nuclear power or energy, from mining uranium and other radioactive ores to the operation and management of nuclear power plants. Wear and tear and corrosion inevitably occur and human error during construction and operation are unavoidable with potentially devastating results.

Pro-nuclear governments, monopolies and corporate media have connived to cover up this danger to life and health through  so-called “international safety standards” or “safe radiation levels” supposedly determined scientifically and rigorously by international agencies such as the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP).  The myth continues to be perpetuated despite the ICRP itself admitting as early as 1960 that there is no such thing as a “safe” radiation level. Nuclear power has serious consequences – both possible and inevitable — that are unjustifiable and threaten the health and life of the broad masses.

Toxic waste from nuclear power plants continues to emit deadly radiation for up to 1 million years. Despite more than sixty years of generating nuclear power, no acceptable and safe means has been found for the disposal of radioactive waste.  Uranium mining, the construction of nuclear power plants and nuclear research plants are invariably accompanied by immense environmental damage and an unacceptable amount of toxic waste.

In some countries nuclear power plants are constructed and operated as a stepping stone and  cover for the production of nuclear weapons, which depend on enriched uranium. The bombing of the Japanese big cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 remains indelibly etched into the memory and consciousness of the world’s peoples and demonstrate the immeasurably horrible consequences of the deployment of nuclear weapons.

There is no truth to the claim that this kind of energy production is the most economical. The construction of one nuclear power plant costs between USD 4 to 7 billion .  No other kind of energy production is being state-subsidized to such a high degree. This has only brought maximum profits for the energy corporations, while the working people bear the brunt of capitalization.

It is sheer demagoguery to claim that the construction and operation of nuclear power plants would be a guarantee of national sovereignty for dependent countries lacking the raw materials. Nuclear power technology and production is owned and controlled by a handful of international energy monopolies and plant manufacturers, such as Siemens (Germany), Toshiba (Japan), Westinghouse (US), General Electric (US), Areva (US), and Rosatom (Russia).  They jealously guard their technological know-how as exclusive intellectual property that can neither be shared nor transferred.

Since Fukushima, it is undeniable that this kind of energy production is unprecedentedly dangerous and a threat to human existence, yet international finance capital has outlined plans at the G-8 summit in May 2011 to further build more than 500 nuclear power plants worldwide with an order volume of around USD 3 trillion.

Confronted by a wave of mass protests worldwide, some governments have been forced to withdraw from or go slow on these plans.  In Germany, eight nuclear power plants were immediately shut down and the government had to resolve to shut down the remaining nine nuclear power plants before 2022. In Italy, the proposal to resume the building of nuclear power plants was rejected in a referendum. In Venezuela, Chile and Switzerland.  Construction of new nuclear power plants have been cancelled. Meanwhile in Japan, 82 percent of the population object to the further use of nuclear power.

The member organizations of ILPS and ICOR form part of this worldwide resistance. Their common campaign for the shutdown of all nuclear power plants and for the ban and destruction of all nuclear weapons is undertaken as a major task of the international revolutionary and working class movements in the struggle against imperialism.

The campaign aims to provide systematic education and information among the broad masses, the formation of broad alliances of active resistance, including the involvement of scientists and technologists, and involving informational events, common days of struggle, blockades and strikes. Imperialism or state monopoly capitalism must be thoroughly exposed and opposed as the real culprit – the mastermind and beneficiary — behind the proliferation of  nuclear power plants worldwide.

More and more people around the globe are struggling to prevent a worldwide man-made environmental catastrophe that could bring about the destruction of humankind. The struggle for the preservation of the natural environment is part of the struggle for national and social liberation and for the production and reproduction of human life in accordance with nature and the highest standards of civilization.

The campaign will be realized under the following main slogans:

  • Shut down all nuclear power stations and plants!
  • Compel the corporate owners of nuclear power plants to bear the costs of shutdown and clean up operations!
  • Demand state compensation and appropriate medical support for all victims of illnesses arising from exposure to nuclear power plant radiation!
  • Save the environment from the greed for profit of the monopolies!
  • Pursue and expand research, promotion and propagation of environment-friendly power and energy sources!
  • Ban and destroy all nuclear, biological and chemical weapons!
  • Strengthen the international front of active resistance for the protection of the natural environment!
  • Struggle against imperialism and for a society where humankind and nature are  best harmonized!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.