On the anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, 30 Greenpeace activists from six European nations halt construction at the site of the Électricité de France’s (EDF) proposed new European Pressurized Water Reactor (EPR).
"The proposed construction of such new reactors, which are
likely to be the most dangerous in the world, is an insult to the
memory of those who died in the immediate aftermath of Chernobyl,
and the hundreds of thousands of people whose lives continue to be
blighted by the disaster," said Frederic Marillier of Greenpeace
"We're occupying the construction site to highlight the risk to
all of Europe," said Marillier, "and we call upon the two
candidates for France's presidential election to cancel the EPR
project at Flamanville."
Not safe, not sensible
Both the Flamanville reactor under construction in France and
the Olkiluto reactor being built in Finland are European
Pressurized Water Reactor (EPR) types. A recent independent study,
produced by John Large Associates for Greenpeace, shows that the
new generation of EPR reactors have an inherently higher risk of
serious radioactive contamination in the event of any accident.
found that for the Flamanville reactor the number of people
affected and requiring evacuation following the 'most likely' of
nuclear incidents would be about 660,000. In a worst-case
scenario, the number of people requiring evacuation would increase
to more than 3 million. 135,000 people were evacuated following the
nuclear industry document leaked last year also raised concerns
that EPR plants are vulnerable to terrorist attack.
Not only a part of history,
Chernobyl continues to be a nightmare for many. There is
controversy surrounding how many have died, and how many will die,
from its nuclear fallout. Attempts have even been made to
whitewash over the true cost in lives.
report we released last year used new data, based on Belarus
national cancer statistics, to predict approximately 270,000
cancers and 93,000 fatal cancer cases due to the disaster. The
report also concluded that on the basis of demographic data, during
the last 15 years, 60,000 people have additionally died in Russia
because of the Chernobyl accident, and estimates of the total death
toll for the Ukraine and Belarus could reach another 140,000.
But statistics never tell the full human story. For that, we
remember the victims as individuals.
Nuclear not the answer
There are solutions to climate change, but nuclear power is not
one of them. We have published an energy revolution
blueprint showing how the world can have economic growth while
reducing our dependence on fossil fuels - all without nuclear
"Every euro spent on futile and dangerous nuclear technology in
a misguided attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is taking us
a step away from the real solution to climate change," concluded
Save power, Save our planet - Sign up to make the smart energy switch