25 years since the Chernobyl disaster: it’s time to stop using nuclear energy

On the 25th anniversary of the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl in Ukraine, Friends of the Earth stands by the unrecognised victims of radioactive pollution in affected countries, as well as with those affected by the tsunami and the Fukushima nuclear crisis in Japan.

Pavlo Khazan, Friends of the Earth Ukraine campaign director for climate change and energy, says that “25 years later, nuclear disaster continues to be the reality that we suffer [1], and the case of Fukushima shows that accidents of this scale continue to be possible, and that we will never be sufficiently prepared. I hope that my generation, which saw the birth of the nuclear threat, also gets to see its demise”.

Liliane Spendeler, environmental director for Friends of the Earth Spain, stresses that “in Spain we must also learn from the lessons of Chernobyl and Fukushima. Power stations as obsolete as Garoña or Cofrentes [2] can’t be kept open any longer.

“For that reason, Friends of the Earth Europe is asking for a schedule for the closure of nuclear power plants via a transparent process from the European Commission, allowing for nuclear energy to be replaced by clean and renewable energy sources, alongside energy savings and energy efficiency.

“Once again, it has been shown that we don’t need nuclear energy in our lives. With an ambitious policy that favours renewable energy and rational use of our resources, we can achieve a different scenario.”

The European movement against nuclear energy is getting stronger. During the commemoration of the anniversary of Chernobyl, there were actions and demonstrations to remember the unrecognised victims of radioactive pollution and, in turn, to condemn those that deny the risks of nuclear power.

[1] 25 years after the Chernobyl plant’s explosion, its reactor is still releasing radiation. The cement shield that seals the zone is breaking, and only authorised personnel can visit the 30km security area around the reactor. Millions of people still live in areas affected by the radiation.

[2] Cofrentes inspection certificate on the Spanish Nuclear Security Council’s website: http://www.csn.es/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=17155%3Aaincof72711&catid=78%3Acentral-nuclear-de-cofrentes&Itemid=164&lang=es

Patricia Lorenz, nuclear campaigner, Friends of the Earth Europe

Tel: +43 676 446 4254

Email: patricia.lorenz@foeeurope.org

Liliane Spendeler, environmental director for Amigos de la Tierra

Tel: +34 91 306 99 21

Email: prensa@tierra.org

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