Many of us have vivid memories from the time when the Chernobyl nuclear disaster occurred. April 26, 1986 (though of course notification about its occurrence was delayed – to its own people, & to the world).
30 years ago, now.
There remains a 30-kilometre “exclusion zone” around the site, though there are people who have chosen to return & continue living within that area & also, as I learned to my surprise recently, many people who now live outside the zone (many who were evacuated from the Pripyat area, to a new town), but who commute to the plant for their work.
Nuclear accidents. They just never really go away, do they??
Fallout is forever, both literally in terms of what goes into the air, water & soils – and also in terms of long-term health consequences.
Many children born today in the areas of highest fallout (Ukraine, Belarus & Russia) suffer significant health problems ... way above & beyond thyroid cancer (the only health impact ever acknowledged by the nuclear industry).
Genetic damage comes down through the generations – as the people most affected by the Chernobyl & Fukushima nuclear disasters are learning firsthand.
What many Canadians don’t seem to realize is, this could happen here. This could be us.
A catastrophic nuclear accident could happen at one of Ontario’s nuclear plants, poisoning air, water (Lake Ontario, for example; then, what would we drink??) & the soils in which we grow our food.
I only wish it weren’t so.
There will be at least 5 events in the days ahead, in the Toronto area, being held to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster that began on April 26, 1986.
April 22nd Echoes of Chornobyl event - Facebook page
Poster of 3 documentary showings: April 24th, 25th, 27th (please visit Facebook page here & scroll down; having IT issues attempting to attach the poster; apologies!?)
Half-Life in Fukushima - documentary showings May 2, 4 & 8 (Toronto)
Upcoming event in Washington, D.C. Lessons from Fukushima and Chernobyl: The Risks of "Normalizing" Radiation: A Special Event
Links to Recent News Items
15 things you don’t know about Chernobyl [Greenpeace]
Blind Mice and bird brains: the silent spring of Chernobyl and Fukushima [The Ecologist. Timothy Mousseau's work]
Chernobyl's children of hope [Greenpeace]
Chernobyl Disaster 30 years on: what do you remember? [the Guardian]
Chernobyl, 30 years on [from Truthout. Good info on medical/health stuff, IAEA / WHO duplicity]
Chernobyl and Fukushima: Illuminating the invisible [Greenpeace]
The Shadow of Chernobyl Looms Large 30 Years Later [Huff. Post, Greenpeace]
Ukraine Children Eat Food Tainted by Chornobyl Radiation [Toronto Star; great quote from pediatrician Dr. Yuri Bandazhevsky]
We’ve had enough of eating and breathing Chernobyl [Greenpeace]
Audio / Films / Video Recommended
- 'Children of Chernobyl 28 years later' (43-minutes. Japanese-made 2014 documentary. Shows the very longstanding impacts on today's children from an accident now 30 years old.)
- Chernobyl Heart documentary (40 minutes; must-see!)
- Eternal Tears (12 minute YouTube; extremely well-done; very moving)
- The Russian Woodpecker (an amazing documentary!)
- 4-min. interview on April 26/16 with nuclear expert Gordon Edwards (surprising amount of ground covered in just 4 minutes!)
- Nuclear Hotseat (podcast) #253: Chernobyl 30th Anniversary SPECIAL – Mousseau, Yablokov, Sherman (1 hour)
- Chernobyl + 30: A Look from the Inside, with nuclear researcher Lucas Hixson (1 hour, 23 minute YouTube) - visit to Chernobyl site; what is going on there now. Luke shares his insights about the radiological impacts & consequences that could re-frame our understanding of major reactor accidents. I learned a lot!
Book VERY Highly Recommended!
Voices from Chernobyl – The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster, by Nobel Prize for Literature winner Svetlana Alexievich
On the DNA site
- Chernobyl 2015 posting, with many links
- Former high-profile nuke supporters now anti
- Fukushima: emergency planning: failing grade (note: Durham Region/Toronto/Ontario's no better!)
- Quotations relevant to emergency planning / Causes of Fukushima Disaster
- Secret Health Deal (between WHO & IAEA)
- Information / Resources (e.g. on KI pills)
Quotes that spring to mind
“Chernobyl is a word we would all like to erase from our memory. But more than seven million of our fellow human beings do not have the luxury of forgetting. They are still suffering, every day, as a result of what happened…The exact number of victims can never be known.” – former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan
“Uranium is the mineral of the apocalypse.” – Donald Weber
"What Dr. Gerstein shows is that reasonable people, who are not malicious, and whose intent is not to kill or injure other people, will nonetheless risk killing vast numbers of people. And they will do it predictably, with awareness … They knew the risks from the beginning, at every stage … the leaders chose, in the face of serious warnings, to consciously take chances that risked disaster … Men in power are willing to risk any number of human lives to avoid an otherwise certain loss to themselves, a sure reversal of their own prospects in the short run.” – Daniel Ellsberg, quoted in the Marc Gerstein book Flirting with Disaster – Why Accidents Are Rarely Accidental (also quoted by Arnie Gundersen in the Greenpeace report Lessons from Fukushima)
“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” – Boxer Mike Tyson
** many more here