catastrophic accident and release
of radiation took place at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the
Ukraine (then part of the USSR)
on April 26th, 1986. Twenty years later it is important to learn its
real effects, especially at a time when the nuclear industry is attempting
a come-back. But nuclear radiation and wastes are no alternative to
oil and coal, and cannot solve the climate change problem. Here is the
start of our on-going Chernobyl report, and a few links:
* A new Greenpeace report has revealed that the full consequences of
the Chernobyl disaster could top a quarter of a million cancer cases
and nearly 100,000 fatal cancers. See:
* About the accident and more: http://www.rememberchernobyl.org/accident.htm
* Photographs and many links at this Guardian newspaper website:
"Twenty years on and the casualty figures from the nuclear disaster
still don't add up," says Linda Walker, who has seen the severe
health effects from the accident first-hand. Read her report here:
"The Nuclear Power Time Bomb – 20 years after Chernobyl"
was the title of the annual conference of the IPPNW
(International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War), held April
7-9, 2006, in Bonn, Germany. Its program
featured a number of important contributions by women experts and activists.
Here we present a few, in a new section on Chernobyl and nuclear energy
that will grow -- as the idea of a 'nuclear resurgence' is spread by
the nuclear industry, and citizen opposition mounts -- once again --
to the idea of having atomic power playing any role in our 21st century
from the Region:
Rose Goncharova is a biologist and since 1992 Director
of the Laboratory of the Genetics and Cytology Institute of the
Academy of Science in Minsk, Republic of Belarus. Since 1986 she
has researched the genetic effects of the Chernobyl catastrophe
on mammals, fish and human beings. She has published more than
100 papers and attended many international conferences.
Powerpoint Presentation: Remote
Consequences of the Chernobyl Accident: Assessment after
Buhmann and Alex
two medical students active in the International
Student Movement of IPPNW gave an excellent presentation
on the dangers and costs of nuclear power and weapons, poverty
and social injustice, comparing "the world as it is"
to "the world as it could be."
their text here: "Chernobyl
Speech" (pdf - 2pp)
take the Environment: People often times think that nuclear
energy is the “clean alternative” to fossil fuels,
but that’s not true… only because it doesn’t
produce CO2, doesn’t mean that it’s healthy. In
fact, radiation is pretty much the most unhealthy thing you
can imagine and it’s still not clear how safe nuclear
plants really are or how nuclear waste is best stored away.
Scientists have shown increased rates of leukaemia in the children
of nuclear power plant workers. Every month, accidents happen
in power plants in Germany and other places as well. In fact,
experts say that it’s only a matter of time before we
have another accident like Chernobyl – or worse. In the
end, there is no 100% safety anywhere and the risks attached
to nuclear power with its long half life and its effects for
generations to come are so much graver than with any other form
… In the world as it could be, all countries would ratify
and support the
international environment treaties and a change of the current
consumer culture would lead to a sustainable energysavingattitude
on a global scale..."
in the Shadow of Sellafield
..."There is no doubt that Sellafield has contributed in
a major way to jobs in the area, but a heavy price continues to
be paid for them. As a result of its operations the Irish Sea
has become the most radioactively contaminated sea in the world
and its discharges have travelled around the globe. Seashore radiation
levels around the plant are higher than would be allowed inside
Sellafield, at levels which would be illegal in customer countries.
Selected soil samples are higher than some of those in the Chernobyl
In Cumbria, radiation from Sellafield can be measured in house
dust, our bodies, our children's teeth, local seafood, seaweed,
vegetables and drinking water. It has also been detected in our
wildlife, seagulls and feral pigeons.
In 1983 a TV company discovered a childhood leukaemia rate of
10 times the national average in the village of Seascale near
Sellafield as well as a 2-6 times higher rate of childhood cancers
along the Irish Sea coastal strip. The 1990 Gardner report linked
a Sellafield fathers' preconceptional radiation dose (PPI) to
an 8 times higher risk of their child developing leukaemia. A
1993 Government Health and Safety study found that the incidence
of leukaemia and NHL in Seascale (village nearest to Sellafield)
was 14 times the national average, particularly for children born
to fathers who started work at the plant before 1965.
BNG has always denied that radiation from the plant is responsible
and continues to promote the theory that 'Population Mixing' (construction
workers brought to the area) together with an as yet unidentified
virus are to blame, even though there were no childhood cancers
before Sellafield started operations..."
Active Against Nuclear Energy: the German book, published in April
2006, with free selection in English
Years Chernobyl: Women Active Against Nuclear Energy -- from
rage to visions"
As described by editor Ulrike Röhr, of the organization
- focal point gender, environment, sustainability: "The
full book in German includes the stories of some 30 authors,
who narrate how their experiences 20 years ago changed their
lives; how not only the nuclear catastrophe, but also the
involvement in a political movement, impacted on their plans,
their political activities, their career
A sample of the articles have been published in English, in
a pdf document of 44 pages, available without cost for downloading
at this address:
Excerpt from the introduction:
"It was primarily women who had been active in the anti-nuclear
movement prior to Chernobyl who were organising the protests.
They came from or were heavily involved in the peace movement.
It was particularly mothers who organised themselves in a multitude
of groups of ‘mothers against nuclear power’ to
jointly enforce their demands. One of our authors told us that
long periods of her family life took place while demonstrating
against nuclear power plants or reprocessing plants...
Chernobyl significantly shaped the lives of a whole generation
it is women the world over, who argue more strongly against
nuclear energy use than men.
One of the reasons is that high risk technologies will never
be completely controllable. Chernobyl taught us that technical
deficiencies, human failure, and at present also terrorist attacks,
may lead to a
catastrophe of unforeseeable dimensions. But did we learn from
the catastrophe? That’s one of the
questions we try to explore in this brochure..."
on nuclear power
28 March 2006: Three Mile Island nuclear plant accident -- 27th
anniversary of the TMI Unit-2 meltdown
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA
Information about the plant, the history of its operation and
opposition to it is at the site of Three Mile Island Alert
the accident, Marie Holowka, Farmer, Zion’s View, PA, reported
on her experience:
“I went to the barn around four, four-thirty (in the morning). We
were milking cows. And the barn started to shake. And I heard a rumble
like underground. Well, I wouldn’t say an earthquake. But it was going
like ‘brrup, brrup, brrup.’ And then it shook and shook and we didn’t
hear the big rumbles. But every now and then you could hear a rumbling
in the ground. And Paul, my brother, was with me and he says, ‘That’s
an earthquake.’ I said, ‘Paul, it don’t sound like an earthquake.
Earthquake, it just rattles. But you don’t hear the noise, the brrup,
brrup.’ It just (was) like there was boiling water coming underground.
And I said, ‘I think something happened at Three Mile Island.’ Then
we kept milking..."
Nuclear Energy: The Basics http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/resources/factsheets/energy.html
An excellent on-line fact sheet with many links and resources for
further information, from Reaching
Critical Will, a project of the Women's
International League for Peace and Freedom, the world's oldest
women's peace organization.
World Information Service on Energy http://www10.antenna.nl/wise/
WISE has been part of the international safe energy movement for 25
years, doing research, networking, producing a regular newsletter
and a variety of publications. Check their site for information on
nuclear power and alternatives world-wide.
Information and Resource Service http://www.nirs.org/
Affiliated with WISE, the Nuclear Information and Resource Service
was 25 years old in 2003: "We were founded to be the national
information and networking center for citizens and environmental activists
concerned about nuclear power, radioactive waste, radiation and sustainable
energy issues. We still fulfill that core function, but have moved
on both programatically and geographically. For example, we initiate
large-scale organizing and public education campaigns on specific
issues. Our Eastern Europe/Commonwealth of Independent States Project
is a massive effort to bring our technical expertise and strategic
sense to grassroots environmental groups facing the most dangerous
nuclear programs of all. Our affiliation with WISE-Amsterdam in 2000
means that we now have offices and programs across the globe."
Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space http://www.space4peace.org/index.htm
list of Internet sites with information about nuclear
and safe energy issues.