"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, shows that the new generation of
EPR reactors have an inherently higher risk of serious radioactive
contamination in the event of any accident.
The study, 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 Chernobyl disaster.
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.
A 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 died in Russia because of the
Chernobyl accident. 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
need to 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 power.