It has been 25 years since the name Chernobyl became the infamous nuclear accident that devastated the lives of millions of people in Western Russia, Belarus and the Ukraine. 25 years on, and the nightmare for thousands of people is still frightening.
The Chernobyl catastrophe released 100 times more radiation than the atom bombs dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Yet many seem to just dismiss the accident as a part of history and forget what large doses of radiation actually do to human lives. Sadly, focussing solely on the disputed statistics of Chernobyl has dehumanized what happened. The effects of Chernobyl touched millions of people and thousands still endure very visible and painful effects.
In March 2011, a Greenpeace research team visited several places in Rivnenska and Zhytomyrska Oblast, Ukraine, to collect samples of food products produced in those areas and which comprise a significant component of the local diet.
Download the findings of the investigation.
Download the factsheets: Chernobyl, 25 years later.
We are telling the stories of just a few of those thousands, to bring to light the reality of nuclear energy. Independent scientists and economists know that nuclear energy is the most expensive electricity source available, counting the cost of building, running and decommissioning the power stations. But an economic analysis alone cannot calculate the costs due to the damage done to our genes, the very foundation of life.
There are many other costs to take into consideration - the insurance and the cost of potential accidents, the long-term disposal of waste when no reliable solution has yet been found.
Nuclear power is not a solution for climate change. The massive subsidies needed to keep the nuclear industry alive are slowing and undermine the renewable energy revolution that is the real solution to climate change.
All the above are facts about nuclear energy, however, no scientist or economist can tell you a life story of misplacement, diseases, trauma and fear... Only the victims can.