Voices from Chernobyl
Almost 25 years after the horrific Chernobyl disaster on April 26, 1986, Japan is facing a tragic nuclear crisis.
As reports continue to surfaced predicting death tolls in the tens of thousands and harmful radiation escapes from the reactors, Georgia Women's Action for New Directions continues our work with renowned Russian scientists and anti-nuclear activists Nataliya Mironova and Natalia Manzurova on their speaking tour in the Southeast.
The women will address press and the community residents living near nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle with a group discussion and time for individual media interviews to follow.
Community members from all over Georgia cam to Atlanta to hear the women speak at Manuel's Tavern Wednesday, March . Manzurova and Mironova addressed local students at Atlanta North High School and Emory University and joined David Lochbaum, Director of Nuclear Safety, Union of Concerned Scientists to speak with residents living near nuclear reactors in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Thursday, March 24.
The women addressed the situation in Japan as well as human, health, and environmental ramifications of future nuclear power in the United States, specifically at Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro, Georgia.
Dr. Mironova has worked as an anti-nuclear activist and directs the Movement for Nuclear Safety in Chelyabinsk in the Russian Federation. Manzurova, an expert in radiation ecology, was a ‘liquidator’ sent in to clean up the Chernobyl site 25 years ago. Both have experienced first hand the horrors of radiation exposures and contamination. They will provide a valuable perspective on the situation in Japan as well as the nuclear activity taking place within our own community.
“Fukushima exposed the inadequacy of measures against nuclear threats in the current social, technical and value-creation context,” Mironova said. “Fourteen nuclear power stations and the Rokkasho high-level radioactive waste reprocessing plant are located in the tsunami zone in Japan. They are all at risk of overheating and catastrophic radioactivity releases, with pollution of air, soil and water, food supplies, and all living beings, including humans.
Georgia WAND looks to Mironova and Manzurova's warnings about nuclear power as we watch our state prepare to build two new nuclear reactors.
“We hope these courageous women will continue to teach us about the human costs incurred by those living near or working in close proximity to nuclear reactors. As our country continues to prop up nuclear energy with billions of federal dollars in loan guarantees we need to ask the question: Are the risks worth it? And, if there are cleaner and safer alternatives, why aren’t we putting our money there?” Bobbie Paul, Executive Director of Georgia WAND said.
About the Speakers:
- Dr. Nataliya Miranova founded the Movement for Nuclear Safety and served as a Member of the Supreme Ecological Council of the Russian State Parliament from 1997 to 2006. In 2002, Nataliya won the Supreme Court case against the Government of Russia to stop the import of 370 tons of Hungarian spent fuel for storage and reprocessing in Russia. She has written several books and over 70 articles examining the roots of nuclear proliferation and the role of non-governmental organizations in abolishing nuclear weapons.
- Natalia Manzurova is a radiation ecology expert and led a team of clean-up “liquidators” following the Chernobyl catastrophe. She was an engineer at a nuclear facility in Russia until radiation sickness interrupted her work. A founder of Chernobyl Union support group for liquidators, she currently works with Planet of Hope advocating for people exposed to radiation, such as liquidators of radiation accidents and catastrophes, downwinders of nuclear weapons tests, people living in radiation areas, and nuclear workers.
- David Lochbaum, Director of Nuclear Safety for the Union of Concerned Scientists, is one of the top independent experts on nuclear power in the United States. He is a nuclear engineer and worked in nuclear power plants for 17 years including TVA’s Browns Ferry reactors. Concerned about nuclear safety and frustrated with nuclear regulatory complacency, Dave joined UCS and is now based in Chattanooga. At UCS, he monitors safety issues at the nation's nuclear power plants, raises concerns with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and responds to breaking events, such as current concerns over aging power plants and plant fire safety.
For press coverage of the event, check out the following links: