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Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior to test seawater in Japan

Greenpeace today announced that its flagship, the Rainbow Warrior, has departed Taiwan for Japan to conduct contamination tests on seawater and marine life in the area surrounding the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

“Japan relies heavily on the ocean to feed itself, and given the continual leaking of radioactive water into the marine environment – including TEPCO’s release of huge quantities of contaminated water (1) – it is critical that independent testing is undertaken, in order to assess the true extent of the contamination and the possible impacts on public health and the food web,” said Junichi Sato, Greenpeace Japan Executive Director.

“We have informed Japan’s government and are currently working through the appropriate channels to ensure we can add marine research to the radiation monitoring already carried by our land-based teams in the Fukushima area (2)”, said Sato. “Tens of thousands of people remain at risk from the radiation released by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant – we wish to continue providing independent data and assessments that will help people in the Fukushima area make the right decisions to protect their lives and livelihoods”.

Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior ships have a history of peacefully challenging the reckless use of nuclear technology (3), and with the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster approaching, Greenpeace hopes that the ship’s work in the Fukushima area – one of its last voyages before retirement and the launch of the Rainbow Warrior III – will aid the crisis response effort, raise public awareness of the risks of nuclear technology, and move the world towards a future powered by only renewable sources of energy.

The ship is currently expected to reach Japanese waters and begin testing on the 27th or 28th of April.