The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) commemorates today the thirtieth anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster – the most destructive accident in the history of nuclear power.
NFLA sends its deepest sympathies to all those families directly and indirectly affected by the incident – the deaths of the many ‘liquidators’ that saved the world from an even greater nuclear disaster, the hundreds of thousands of people evacuated, and the thousands who have died premature deaths due to radiation exposure and the psychological effects of the accident.
NFLA recently co-operated with other groups to organise a ‘Beyond Nuclear’ conference to commemorate the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters and their long-term impacts, as well as considering non-nuclear energy solutions that could take us ‘beyond nuclear’ by embracing renewable energy solutions.
One of the speakers was independent radiation consultant Dr Ian Fairlie, who presented the results of an updated analysis of the Chernobyl disaster in the TORCH-2016 report (The Other Report on Chernobyl). These include:
- 5 million people in Belarus, Ukraine and Russia are still living in highly radioactive contaminated areas.
- 400 million people are living in less, but still, radioactively contaminated areas in the three countries and other parts of Europe.
- 37% of the fallout from the Chernobyl disaster was deposited on Western Europe; with 42% of Western Europe contaminated to some degree.
- 40,000 fatal cancers linked to the disaster are predicted.
- 6,000 thyroid cancers have occurred to date, with 16,000 more expected.
- There is an increased amount of radiogenic thyroid cancers now being seen in Austria.
- There is also an increased amount of radiogenic leukemias, cardiovascular disease and breast cancers confirmed.
- New evidence of radiogenic birth defects, mental health effects and diabetes has emerged.
- New evidence that children in contaminated areas suffer radiogenic illnesses has come to light. (1)
NFLA today publishes on its website the presentations from this important conference. They include presentations from the following speakers:
- Evidence of large-scale health and genetic effects to the animal population around the Chernobyl and Fukushima exclusion zones by Professor Tim Mousseau of the University of South Carolina.
- A detailed consideration of the health effects and ‘genomic instability’ arising from nuclear incidents like Chernobyl and Fukushima by Dr Keith Baverstock of the University of Eastern Finland.
- An analysis of how a combination of solar and wind energy, backed up by biogas, can provide the future energy needs of the UK and Ireland by Professor Keith Baverstock of Imperial College.
- The international experience of challenging the need for nuclear power and advocating renewable energy solutions in Austria, Germany and the United States by Reinhard Uhrig of Global 2000, Angelika Claussen of IPPNW Germany and Linda Pentz Gunter of Beyond Nuclear USA.
- An analysis of the UK nuclear issue and how to advocate a non-nuclear energy strategy by Pete Roche, NFLA Policy Advisor and co-founder of Microgeneration Scotland. (2)
The NFLA website also includes a 20-minute edited film of some of the key messages from the ‘Beyond Nuclear’ conference. Full filmed presentations will be placed on the website shortly. Discussion is also taking place to develop a ‘Beyond Nuclear’ UK network that will help to bring together the many groups advocating a nuclear free future.
NFLA Chair Councillor Ernie Galsworthy said:
On the thirtieth anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster I send out my deepest sympathies to all the people affected by this disaster, the single worst incident of the nuclear age. It is clear that thirty years on the Chernobyl exclusion zone has to remain firmly in place, amidst growing new evidence of the negative effects of the disaster on human and animal health now emerging. Chernobyl remains a clear warning to all of us of the hazards and risks of nuclear power. I am delighted that all the detailed presentations from our recent Beyond Nuclear conference are now on the NFLA website to consult and disseminate. With a final investment decision to build new nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point delayed again for the umpteenth time it is now essential we take up the alternative energy solutions advocated in that conference. Let us remember Chernobyl by embracing renewable energy and working to go beyond nuclear.”
For more information contact Sean Morris, NFLA Secretary on 07771 930196.
Notes for editors:
(1) Dr Ian Fairlie, TORCH-2016 report, March 2016 https://www.global2000.at/sites/global/files/GLOBAL_TORCH%202016_rz_WEB_KORR.pdf
(2) All the presentations from the ‘Beyond Nuclear’ conference, including an edited 20 minute film of key messages, can be found on the homepage of the NFLA website – https://www.nuclearpolicy.info/category/presentations
The conference took place in Manchester on the 19th March, with linked events held in London and Manchester on the 17th, 18th and 20th March. The conference was held due to generous financial support from the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, Lush Charitable Trust, the Low Level Radiation and Health Conference and WISE International. It was co-organised by the NFLA, the Low Level Radiation and Health Conference, Chernobyl Children’s Project UK, Greater Manchester and District CND, SERA, JAN-UK and Kick Nuclear.