Writes Beyond Nuclear's Linda Pentz Gunter in The Ecologist:
"From the moment I was informed - by telephone, at five o'clock in the morning on that fateful April 26, 1986 - that fire had broken out in Block Four of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, my life has never been the same."
The author of these words, Mikhail Gorbachev, is 85 now. His health is failing.
He would like to travel the world and deliver this message. But more often than not, he cannot muster the energy. So in March, he sent an eloquent emissary in his stead, to address a gathering in London.
Gorbachev watched the Unit 4 Chernobyl nuclear reactor explode and melt down and the Soviet Union dissolve during his tenure as premier from 1985-1991.
Arguably it was the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe that turned him into an environmentalist. By 1992 he had founded Green Cross International, based in Geneva and from whence came his London emissary - Dr. Alexander Likhotal, the organization's current president.
Beyond Nuclear on Thom Hartmann's "The Big Picture" regarding Hanford's radioactive leaks & Chernobyl commemoration in D.C.
Thom Hartmann, host of "The Big Picture," interviewed Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps about recent, as well as historical, leaks of high-level radioative waste at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) military plutonium production Hanford Nuclear Reservation near Richland, WA. Thom also asked Kevin about Beyond Nuclear's Fukushima+5/Chernobyl+30 commemoration at the Goethe-Institut in Washington, D.C.
Kevin appeared as part of a panel discussion also featuring Alex Lawson, Executive Director-Social Security Works, and Sarah Badawi, Legislative Affairs Director-Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC). Watch the segment beginning at the 45:00 minute mark, and continuing till the end of the show.
A 2016 update of the 2006 TORCH (The Other Report on Chernobyl) report finds that the deadly health legacy from the April 26, 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster is far from over, says its author, Dr. Ian Fairlie. The report was commissioned by GLOBAL 2000/ Friends of the Earth Austria and financed by the Vienna Ombuds Office for Environmental Protection. The explosions and resulting graphite fire at Reactor 4 over ten days ejected 30% to 60% of the reactor core’s contents (60–120 tonnes) into the troposphere initially over the USSR and mostnof Europe.
Some of the TORCH-2016 key findings include:
- 40,000 fatal cancers are predicted in Europe over the next 50 years
- 6,000 thyroid cancer cases to date, 16,000 more expected
- 5 million people in Belarus, Ukraine and Russia still live in highly contaminated areas (>40 kBq/m2)
- 400 million in less contaminated areas (>4 kBq/m2)
- 37% of Chernobyl's fallout was deposited on western Europe;
- 42% of western Europe's land area was contaminated
- increased radiogenic thyroid cancers expected in West European countries
- increased radiogenic leukemias, cardiovascular diseases, breast cancers confirmed
- new evidence of radiogenic birth defects, mental health effects and diabetes
- new evidence that children living in contaminated areas suffer radiogenic illnesses
As featured on TRT World's "The Newsmakers": Thirty years since the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown, The Newsmakers asks Kevin Kamps [of Beyond Nuclear in Washington, D.C., U.S.A.] and Jonathan Cobb [of the World Nuclear Association in London, U.K.] what lessons have been learnt from the world's worst civil nuclear disaster. [Watch the segment, from the beginning of the recording to the 14 minute 12 second mark.]
“We all know that the wind doesn’t blow consistently and the sun doesn’t shine every day,” he said, “but the nuclear industry would have you believe that humankind is smart enough to develop techniques to store nuclear waste for a quarter of a million years, but at the same time human kind is so dumb we can’t figure out a way to store solar electricity overnight. To me that doesn’t make sense.”
Trying to downplay nuclear power risks, as compared to other electricity generation risks, Cobb cited a hydro-dam break in China that killed a large number of people by drowning, and then disease.
But Cobb failed to mention the risks of a dam breach at the Oconee nuclear power plant in Seneca, SC. As reported by Tom Zeller, Jr., in the Huffington Post, two U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission whistleblowers have revealed, if the upstream dam fails, whether due to an earthquake, terrorist attack, etc., three reactors could be submerged under 16 feet of water, plunging Oconee into a Fukushima-like catastrophe.
Gundersen warned about such "inland tsunami" risks at Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant in Nebraska, during historic flooding on the Missouri River in 2011.