Chernobyl Commemoration 1986-2011. Pavlo Khazan at the EGP Council, Budapest

5 апреля 2011, 00:19
громадський діяч, еколог

April 26, 1986. Since that day 25 years ago term “peaceful atom” disappeared in the dark radioactive cloud of the burning nuclear reactor No4 of the Chernobyl NPP. It became a milestone in the history of nuclear power .

It was the worst nuclear accident ever seen. Wide-ranging and the most significant technological catastrophe in the the world occurred in small and resilient Ukrainian town called “NPP settlement” in the official newspapers reports. The name Chernobyl became known worldwide.

25 years later, we start to realize what the true impact of a nuclear accident can be.

Ukrainian national commission for radiation protection calculates 500,000 deaths, and our calculation are at least 900 000 deaths from Chernobyl so far. At least 10 million people have been effected by the accident in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, hundreds of thousands of people have still not returned to their homes and agricultural land is still restricted hundreds of km from the scene of the accident.

In total over 3 mln km2 are contaminated in the three countries. More than 2,000 villages around Chernobyl are contaminated by radioactivity.

More than 330,000 people are evacuated and relocated. At least 3 000 000 children require medical treatment.

Chernobyl is not just a historical event from a moment in time 25 years ago It brought into our lives new terminology such as liquidators and children of Chernobyl. It is still having a massive impact. And the number of people who get sick and die because of the radiation from Chernobyl is still rising.

Now, 25 years later, 8 million people still reside in areas that will remain highly contaminated by Chernobyl radioactive pollution for many years. Since half-life of the major radioactive element released, (137Cs) is a little over 30 years, the radiological and hence health consequences of this nuclear accident will continue to be experienced for centuries to come.

Recent researches by the Nuclear Energy Agency shows that, the radioactive release was about 140 mln Ci

Having a huge impact on Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, it also affected other European countries: Austria, Sweden, UK, Island, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Slovenia, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Italy, Bulgaria, Moldova, and Greece, where radiation level was above 1Ci/km2 (or 37 kBq/m2) the limit used to define arias as contaminated.

Infant mortality hundreds of km from the stricken nuclear plant has increased up to 30% in 25 years, many young people, suffering from different diseases: genetic disorders, leukaemia, internal organ deformities, thyroid and other types of cancers, diseases of respiratory system and blood vascular system, neurological and psychological disorders. They are the victims of the world's greatest release of radioactivity.

This commemoration comes at a pivotal moment in the future of nuclear power – as the current generation of nuclear plants is near the end of their life, we have the opportunity to reassess the human price we are ready to pay for electricity produced in this way.

Now, 25 year later, Ukrainian greens call the Ukrainian government to stop immediately extension of the lifespan of nuclear reactors. We consider such activity as illegal and environmentally harmful. We demand to stop the development of nuclear industry (building new reactors on Khmelnitsky and Rivnee NPPs) and nuclear cycle in Ukraine. Last year we blocked the bill (law in draft) which aimed at the start of construction of the new nuclear dump. We have a long history fighting against nuclear waste storages' building. 10 years ago greens convinced the Parliament and the President to stop exploitation of Chernobyl NPP. 28 years ago, 3 years before the accident, the Ukrainian greens warned the government about technical problems on Chernobyl NPP.

We greens say, that nuclear power is inherently highly dangerous and despite claims of improvements in safety, scientists agree that another catastrophe on the scale of Chernobyl could still happen any time, anywhere. Serious nuclear accidents took place before Chernobyl and continue to happen right up to the present day, like catastrophe at Fukusima NPP. The new generation of nuclear reactors now promoted by nuclear lobbyists as being safer than old one.

But we, greens, believe that nuclear power was and is a terrible mistake!

The Chernobyl accident, while having some features in common with other global catastrophic events is so far unique. We can only hope it remains so. My generation saw its beginning, but it is unlikely that the next generation will see its end.

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ТЕГИ: Чернобыль,чернобыльская авария,Фукусима-1,АЕС,Хазан,Khazan,EGP,EGPCouncil
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