Women. Power. Peace.

Press Release: Georgia WAND to host Russian Chernobyl scientists to address current nuclear crisis in Japan

ATLANTA - Almost 25 years after the horrific Chernobyl disaster on April 26, 1986, Japan is facing a tragic nuclear crisis.

As reports continue to surface predicting death tolls in the tens of thousands and harmful radiation escapes from the reactors, Georgia Women's Action for New Directions prepares to welcome two renowned Russian scientists and anti-nuclear activists Nataliya Mironova and Natalia Manzurova on their speaking tour in the Southeast Wednesday, March 23 and Thursday, March 24 (see itinerary and press opportunities below).

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.”

Mironova and Manzurova will speak at a community and press event Wednesday evening, 6:30 pm at Manuel's Tavern before heading to Chattanooga Thursday for a public forum with David Lochbaum, Director of Nuclear Safety for the Union of Concerned Scientists. They will also speak to students at North Atlanta High School and Emory University as well as engage with the Shell Buff community that lies directly adjacent to nuclear Plant Vogtle in Burke County, Georgia. Their visit to the United States is made possible through a grant from the Trust for Mutual Understanding.

“We hope these courageous women will 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 Mironova 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, a 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 Scientist, 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.


When: Wednesday, March 23, 2011

6:30pm - Meet and greet with community and press at Manuel's Tavern, Mironova and Manzurova will make a statement to the press at 6:30 and continue more in depth conversations with the press and community.

Location: Manuel's Tavern, 602 N Highland Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30307

Thursday, March 24, 2011

10:00am: A special educational presentation

Location: North Atlanta High School, 2875 Northside Drive NW, Atlanta, GA 30305

When: Thursday, March 24, 2011

1:00 pm-2:15 pm: "The Chernobyl Factor: Approaching the Nuclear Crisis in Japan"

Location: Emory University Campus, Modern Languages Building 202A , 532 Kilgo Circle, Atlanta, GA 30322

When: Thursday, March 24, 2011

7:00pm -9:00pm: David Lochbaum , Director of Nuclear Safety for the Union of Concerned Scientists will join Mironova and Manzurova for a special presentation entitled "Voices from Chernobyl".

Location: Unitarian Universalist Church , 3224 Navajo Drive , Chattanooga, TN 37411

When: Friday, March 25, 2011

8:00am - 5:00pm: "South Carolina Visits"

Location: Savannah River Site (SRS) and University of South Carolina

When: Saturday, March 26, 2011

2:00pm: Miranova and Manzurova participate in discussion with community residents living near nuclear reactor Plant Vogtle. Press invited.

Location: Fairfield Baptist Church, 1582 Ben Hatcher, Waynesboro, GA 30830

Press Contact: Courtney Hanson, courtney@wand.org, 404-524-5999

Contact Us

Georgia WAND Education Fund, Inc.

250 Georgia Avenue SE
Suite 202
Atlanta, GA 30312

404-524-5999 - phone


Georgia WAND is funded by:

AJ MUSTE graphic

AJ MUSTE graphic


southern partners fund