Council for World Mission's statement on the release of radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean
The Council for World Mission is a worldwide partnership of churches with 32 members spanning six global regions, with 20 of them in Asia-Pacific regions alone. The members are committed to creating Life-flourishing Communities, living out God’s promise of a New Heaven and a New Earth. In envisioning the Life-flourishing Communities, CWM sees the unfolding of a restored and renewed creation, an experience of a different world in our lifetime, where human dignity is protected, poverty eradicated, climate catastrophe abated, ideologies of supremacy demolished and peace reigns.
It is in this context of our commitment towards a life-flourishing creation that we see the release of more than a million metric tons of radioactive water from the destroyed Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean as a grave threat to the environment, marine life, and the well-being of communities that rely on these waters. It will result in radioactive substances accumulating in various marine species, affecting the entire food chain and potentially harming fish populations and other aquatic organisms.
Introducing radioactive materials could disrupt the balance of the ecosystem, affecting species distribution, migration patterns, and overall biodiversity. It could threaten human health, creating unforeseen long-term health consequences, especially if consumed through contaminated seafood or direct exposure. Nuclear wastewater could lead to the contamination of fish stocks, damaging these industries and affecting the livelihoods of fishermen and those involved in aquaculture.
We express our disappointment in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for the irresponsible report that downplays the potential hazards of the wastewater release. We urge the IAEA to take into account the broader ecological and ethical implications of their assessments, especially when it comes to the well-being of vulnerable communities and ecosystems that are integral to the flourishing of life.
CWM, a global partnership of churches in mission that strives to create Life-flourishing Communities, demands that the Japanese Government and the management of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) indefinitely stop the release of nuclear-contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean. Japan needs to learn a lesson from the apocalyptic disaster of the Fukushima tsunami that caused the nuclear meltdown. They cannot attempt a similar environmental tsunami to all the pan-Pacific countries and islands.
We believe the United Nations, as a custodian of global well-being, and the Japanese Government have a moral duty to listen to the cries of the people in the Asian Pacific countries who are living in fear of the potential consequences of this decision. Our call is not one of antagonism, but of compassion and responsibility. We appeal to both entities to reconsider their
stance and engage in a transparent and inclusive dialogue with the affected nations and communities.
The CWM calls upon the churches and the ecumenical communities to affirm and support this stance against the release of nuclear-contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean, urging the decision-makers to consider alternative solutions that uphold our responsibility as stewards of creation, protect the livelihoods of our neighbours, and honour God’s call to love and care for all that God has made. The time is now to halt the Fukushima ocean release and embrace alternatives that echo God's call to care for all living beings.
Stop Ocean Dumping!
Save the Pacific Ocean!
Enable life-flourishing alternatives!