Alexei Yablokov: Chernobyl is still beside us
Press release, 22.04.2016
The consequences of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant are noticeable even 30 years after, Adviser in the Russian Academy of Sciences, head of YABLOKO’s Green Russia faction Alexei Yablokov says. Today he has launched his book “Chernobyl: Сonsequences of the Disaster for People and Nature” at Interfax.
The environmentalist noted that the information that only Ukraine, Russia and Belarus had suffered from the Chernobyl disaster was a myth, it had done damage to the European countries as well.
“It is widely thought that the Chernobyl disaster influenced Ukraine, Belarus and Russia but this is only 47 per cent of radionuclides, all the rest did damage to other territories. If we take the contaminated area, it turns out that 22 per cent of territory in Belarus, 13 per cent in Austria, 6.3 per cent in Ukraine, 5 per cent in Sweden and Finland, 1.6 per cent in the European part of Russia demonstrate the radioactive contamination of 0.1 curie. Europe has suffered a lot form the Chernobyl disaster and the fact that the IAEA and World Health Organisation connive at the consequences of the Chernobyl catastrophe in Central and West European countries can be explained only by political reasons,” he said.
Alexei Yablokov said that 400 million people had been exposed to radiation because of the disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear plant.
“After 30 years 5 million people, including 800 thousand children, live in the dangerous areas. A second spreading of the radionuclides can be observed in recent years. It mostly concerned peat and forest fires. In 2010 the Chernobyl radionuclides were discovered again thousands of miles away in Sweden and Turkey,” he stressed.
The environmentalist said that the number of radionuclides had decreased during 30 years period but their bio oncentration in plants, mushrooms and animals remained at a high level.
“Last year berry jam was purchased in the most prestigious supermarkets of Wastern Europe. Caesium was found in 5 samples out of 50, one sample demonstrated the level hazardous for consumption. And what can we say about us? Every year the Public Health Authority discovers about 500 kilograms of radioactive berries in Moscow. It is the top of the iceberg. Maybe one hundredth part of what we eat is radioactive. Chernobyl is still beside us,” Yablokov says.
On the whole, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus spent about one trillion dollars to eliminate the damage caused by the accident. 830 thousand people participated in the elimination on behalf of the Soviet Union.
Alexai Yablokov also recalled other statistics – in the year of the disaster and during the past years the number of cancer diseases and the death rate increased, the number of miscarriages also increased not only in Russia but in the European countries as well.
“One can say that during 30 years the death rate made more than 1 million people because of the Chernobyl disaster,” he stresses.
Moreover, German and Italian demographers noticed that the sex ratio changed. The number of boys decreased during the second half of 1986 – 1987 in many countries.
According to Alexei Yablokov, 9 years ago he participated in a picket outside the World Health Organisation building in Geneva. The slogan said: “Tell the truth about Chernobyl, cancel the agreement with IAEA”. Since that time the action is being held every day.
“Breaking the oath of Hyppocrayes, the World Health Organisation engaged themselves not to tell anything bad about radiation without consulting nuclear experts, therefore one cannot trust the official statistics,” Yablokov said.
The environmentalist claimed that the supoort of nuclear power industry in Russia was connected with the support of nuclear weapons as a political instrument.
“Nuclear power industry is very dangerous. Vladimir Vernadsky [a renowned Russian and Soviet scientist] was right saying that the mankind was not ready to use nuclear power. The fact that accidents occur way too often only proves it,” Yablokov said.
Coordinator of Greenpeace anti-nuclear programme Rashid Alimov said that the benefits for the families of Chernobyl victims had been cut and the number of built-up areas which belong to the Chernobyl zone had been reduced as well.
On 23 April, YABLOKO is going to hold a rally in support of the residents who live in polluted areas.
Alimov noted that the contaminated areas were situated in 14 regions of Russia and the products which were produced there spread around the country.
He agreed with Yablokov that the construction of new nuclear power plants could not be justified.
Alexander Nikitin, Chair of the Board of Bellona environmental group, Deputy Chair of YABLOKO’s Green Russia faction, also said that nuclear facilities were of potentially high danger but the decision on the construction were made by politicians, so they should be responsible in the first place.
“30 years after the Chernobyl disaster the lessons haven’t been learnt not only in Russia but in the whole world,” he says.
Alexei Yablokov is planning to launch the book in Minsk and Oslo.
The environmentalist’s book represents the most comprehensive survey of health, environmental and biological research data from different countries of the world on the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster for 30 years.
It deals with geographical and environmental characteristics of the polluted areas, morbidity and mortality in the radioactively contaminated areas, impacts on the environment and ways to minimise the consequences of the disaster for the affected population.