Fairfax Town Council approves Green sponsored resolution in support of urgent international rescue of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility

A Green-sponsored resolution in support of an urgent international rescue of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility was approved unanimously by the Fairfax Town Council on December 4th.

The resolution was written by Councilmember Larry Bragman and co-sponsored by Mayor John Reed, and called for 

(a) an independent expert panel to be formed by the UN General Assembly for transparent international involvement in mitigating the on-going Fukushima nuclear disaster and

(b) government monitoring of seafood for radioactivity from Fukushima pollution.

During the Council discussion, Bragman reported that his attempts to contact local disaster preparedness officials resulted in “a resounding nothing” and concluded “the government is not doing its job.” Joining Reed and Bragman in the unanimous vote was Green Renée Goddard, who along with Reed were re-elected November 5th

Greens have had a council majority in Fairfax since 2009, with Greens Pam Hartwell-Herrero, Ryan O'Neil and Lew Tremaine joining joining Reed, Bragman and Goddard at different points to make up a majority of between three or four out of five members.


WHEREAS, the nuclear reactors crippled by the tsunami in Japan in March of 2011, continue to pose a grave risk to people and the environment around the world, including the United States. over 300 tons of radioactive water are being discharged every day into the Pacific Ocean since the 2011 catastrophe, readings of marine life in the Western Pacific and elsewhere have indicated increased radioactivity; and;
WHEREAS this radioactive contamination will be carried by the jet stream and spread by ocean currents to all parts of the world, adversely affecting marine life as well as human populations, and much greater contamination is likely given that the reactor cores are highly unstable and that the structures and storage tanks are deteriorating; and
WHEREAS, the California chapter of the American Medical Association by formal resolution has called for the United States government to continue to monitor and fully report the radioactivity levels of edible ocean species sold in the United States. (Res. 414, A-13) in direct response to member concerns over rising levels of radioactive cesium and strontium found in edible fish species; and,
WHEREAS this disaster presents one of the gravest threats and greatest technological challenges ever to face our species, and as such demands an international response utilizing the world's most accomplished experts as well as international funding on a level commensurate with humankind’s most ambitious efforts, in the interest of every nation; and
WHEREAS a coalition of seventy-two organizations, joined by Hiroaki Koide of Kyoto University Nuclear Reactor Research Institute, former United Nations (U.N.) diplomat Akio Matsumura, former senior adviser to the United States (U.S.) Secretary of Energy Robert Alvarez, have requested that the U.N. organize an independent assessment team and international assistance, stating that it is “imperative for the Japanese government and the international community to work together on this crisis before it becomes too late. We are appealing to the United Nations to help Japan and the planet in order to prevent the irreversible consequences of a catastrophe that could affect generations to come,” and
WHEREAS, after visiting the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on 6 April 2012, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), a senior member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources who is highly experienced with nuclear waste storage issues, commented, "What we learned the first time is that radioactivity leaks out quickly. If (No.4) ruptures now, it gets into the air....This must not happen," and “The precarious status of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear units and the risk presented by the enormous inventory of radioactive materials and spent fuel in the event of further earthquake threats should be of concern to all,”; and
WHEREAS the nuclear reactors are located in a highly active seismic zone where an earthquake is likely to further compromise the structural integrity of damaged buildings and equipment, the melted reactor cores and fuel rods require constant cooling, and a meltdown in a spent fuel pool would release unprecedented amounts of radioactivity into the global atmosphere; and,
WHEREAS the U.N. has a duty to act decisively when people’s collective human rights, basic livelihood, environmental security, and right to know are being jeopardized and the United States Government has authority to inspect and insure the purity and safety of food sold within its borders.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Town Council of the Town of Fairfax urges that:
1. The United Nations appoint on an emergency basis, within thirty days, an International Independent Commission of Experts (IICE) charged with formulating a plan to reduce, to every extent possible, releases of Fukushima Daiichi radiation into the atmosphere and the ocean, drawing personnel from universities, national research laboratories, other public institutions and nonprofit NGO's in order to avoid conflicts of interest and to ensure adherence to the purpose of the IICE,;
2.Empower the IICE, with the intention of accurately assessing risks and formulating viable solutions, to investigate the site with the cooperation of the Government of Japan, including full access to the site, to relevant government documents and staff, and to personnel and documents of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), operator of the site;
3.Direct the IICE to publicize a report within ninety (90) days with a risk-based strategic plan that addresses all existing and emergent problems with a minimum mandate of preventing the abandonment of the site, and the ultimate goal of minimizing public health risks;
4. Further direct the IICE to continue monitoring, and to publicize regular and accurate progress reports, as well as public health alerts as needed, working with Japan and with the public in an independent and transparent process;
5. The Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, United States Agricultural Department and the Federal Trade Commission and other responsible agencies begin a rigorous collection and reporting of radioactivity levels in edible ocean species and that the results of such a survey be published on a public website for consumer information and education with all due United States Government make any and all resources and technological assistance at its disposal immediately available
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this Resolution be sent to the U.N. General Assembly, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power, President Barack Obama, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Senator Barbara Boxer, Congresswoman and Representative to the 68th Session of the U.N. General Assembly Barbara Lee, and Governor Jerry Brown.

Media coverage:  

Fairfax Town Council calls for international action on wrecked nuclear reactors. Marin Independent Journal. December 14th.
Radioactive Fukushima Water Headed for US West Coast: As nuclear industry and allies in government play down risk, scientists warn there is no such thing as safe radiation. Common Dreams, December 
California town passes Fukushima resolution: Urgent international rescue needed at site. Poses health and safety concerns to America’s West Coast. Much greater contamination is likely. Energy News, December 7
Marin officials eye Japanese nuclear plant plumeBy Nels Johnson, Marin Independent Journal. December 3rd. 
The Fairfax, CA-Fukushima Connection. eon3EMFblog.net
Video: The Fairfax-Fukushima Connection (Video from the Fairfax Town Council meeting of December 4th)