Welcome to the European Chernobyl Network
CHERNOBYL ACTION WEEK, April 22nd - 28th
All across the continent member organisations of the European Chernobyl Network will be commemorating the Anniversary of the World's Worst Nuclear Disaster during
CHERNOBYL ACTION WEEK, April 22nd - 28th.
With support and funding from IBB (International Education and Exchange based in Dortmund) witnesses from Chernobyl will come to 150 cities in 9 countries - Germany, UK, Spain, Czech Republic, Poland, Turkey, Belarus and Ukraine. Some are people who were re-settled after the accident but most are liquidators, the brave men and women from the USSR who risked their lives to help to make safe the stricken reactor No. 4 at Chernobyl and to ‘clean up’ the highly contaminated areas in and around the site.
The Liquidators will speak to school students and other young people and will take part in public meetings and in Candle Actions on the eve of the disaster, at 8pm on April 25th. They will help to raise awareness about the sacrifice they made - without their efforts there could have been a total meltdown of the reactor which would have spread lethally high levels of radioactive contamination across Europe and beyond - and about the dangers of nuclear power.
The Chernobyl Heroes include the firefighters who were called in initially to put out the blaze; the miners who tunnelled under the reactor to prevent the continuing meltdown; and the hundreds of thousands of soldiers who were drafted in to clear away the contaminated rubble, build the 'sacrcopahgus' and attempt to clean up the local area.
Of the 860,000 men and women who were drafted in as 'Chernobyl Heroes' over a period of three years following the disaster, it is estimated that over 25,000 have since died prematurely due to their exposure to high levels of radiation. Those that are still alive today are taking medication to try to combat the effects of the radiaton doses they received.
ECN is delighted that the European Parliament has agreed to support the Chernobyl Action Weeks.
This is part of a message from its President Martin Schulz:
"The European Parliament supports initiatives like yours which bring together people from different European countries to find answers for the challenges of our time. We welcome the objective of this year’s Action Weeks which aim to foster a European feeling of solidarity towards the victims and people affected by nuclear reactor disasters and to launch a well-founded debate on the topic of “Sustainable Energy Policy”.
I especially appreciate the fact that the Action Weeks focus on contemporary witnesses who worked in the Chernobyl region after the catastrophe. Without the help of the Chernobyl liquidators, the damages for the environment and for mankind would have been even more disastrous. They deserve social recognition.
Your activities raise awareness for the consequences of reactor catastrophes and promote a debate on “Sustainable Energy Policy” within European societies. Constructive discussions are today more important than ever in order to learn from mistakes of the past and find solutions for current challenges."
In Germany 40 cities are involved in European Action Weeks. 25 Chernobyl Liquidators from Ukraine and Belarus are going to visit Germany to speak to school classes and public meetings. An Anti-Nuclear Activist from Japan, Kazuhiko Kobayashi, will be speaking about Fukushima in 9 German cities.
The opening of the Action Weeks will take place on 19 of April in Dortmund. Taking part will be Anette Kurschus, the head of the Evangelical Church of North Rhine-Westphalia, Bärbel Höhn, politician for Alliance '90/The Greens, the former Minister of Agriculture and Environment of North Rhine-Westphalia, Dennis Vystavkin of Chernobyl Children's Lifeline and Mr. Kobayashi. 9 of the 25 Liquidators will also be there.