Chernobyl in Toronto

Yesterday (April 26, 2014) I attended an event in Toronto that was held to commemorate the 28th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Facebook event page here

And to inform those in attendance about events in the area around the Chernobyl nuclear plant in the days, years & decades since the accident.

And to show the documentary ‘From Chernobyl to Fukushima: A Campaigner’s Journey.’

The two speakers were Shawn-Patrick Stensil (Greenpeace campaigner) & Dr. Alexander Belyakov.

** Links summarized below!

I learned not only about the suppression & manipulation of scientific & medical information in the Soviet Union post-accident, but about current risks from the Chernobyl reactors, which still contain the vast majority of their dangerous radioactivity.

And parallels between the Chernobyl situation & that of Fukushima. Lies, secrets & deliberate suppression of information predominate.

Not a very pretty picture, I’m afraid! (No big surprise there. )

I was however happy to learn about 2 groups active in Toronto that some readers might like to know about.

1. Chernobyl Foundation of Toronto

“Our mission is to restore one of the Top Ten most polluted places on earth and to provide the necessary help to those in need.

Our promise to you: 100 % of public donations go towards funding our projects. Every penny you give goes to the people in need.

GET INVOLVED

Help us to improve current conditions in Chernobyl. You can volunteer, donate money, spread the word, etc.”

2. Children of Chornobyl Canadian Fund 

“Children Of Chornobyl Canadian Fund (CCCF) is a registered charitable organization. It was established in 1990 to provide humanitarian aid to victims of the 1986 Chornobyl nuclear disaster. This disaster, the quiet killer, has caused an increase in cancer, blood disorders, birth defects and other illnesses linked to radiation exposure.

The unstable economical situation has increased the needs of all these innocent victims. CCCF, through its various projects, distributes medication, medical and technical equipment, supplies and food to clinics, treatment centres, hospitals and orphanages. As well, it provides administrative support to all of its projects.

Today, CCCF sponsors a variety of projects to improve health care and the general well-being of disadvantaged and ill children in Ukraine. We appeal for your assistance in this cause, and we hope that you will open your heart to those in need.”

Summary of Links

 

‘Quote of the day’ with this post (same as yesterday’s): “…What part of Fukushima don’t you understand? If you don’t make the modifications [re: safety & emergency planning] you run the risk of destroying the fabric of a country. It happened at Chernobyl, and it’s happening right now in Japan…” – Arnie Gundersen in an interview with Al Jazeera on March 27/14.

Runners-up:

“Anyone who has one iota of a brain or humility could only conclude that nuclear power is insane!” – Anne Hansen, artist & activist

“Today no task is more pressing and noble, not only for a scientist, but also for any sober-minded individual, than to prevent nuclear insanity.” – Valery Legasov, head of the former Soviet delegation to the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency). He was upset over both the Chernobyl disaster & its handling at the IAEA & UN, & later took his life over it.

“The lesson of TMI (and Chernobyl, and Fukushima)? Shut ‘em down before they melt down!” – Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear

“It’s impossible to totally prevent any kind of accident or disaster happening at the nuclear power plants.  And so, the one way  to prevent this from happening, to prevent the risk of having to evacuate such huge amounts of people, 50 million people, and for the purpose, for the benefit of the lives of our people, and even the economy of Japan, I came to change the position, that the only way to do this was to totally get rid of the nuclear power plants.” – former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan

Toshimitsu Homma of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency stated recently [April 2013 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada] at an international conference on Emergency Management that the most important lesson of Fukushima was that before the accident, “There was an implicit assumption that such a severe accident could not happen and thus insufficient attention was paid to such an accident by authorities.”

 “… reasonable people, who are not malicious, and whose intent is not to kill or injure other people, will nonetheless risk killing vast numbers of people. And they will do it predictably, with awareness …  They knew the risks from the beginning, at every stage … The leaders chose, in the face of serious warnings, to consciously take chances that risked disaster … Men in power are willing to risk any number of human lives to avoid an otherwise certain loss to themselves, a sure reversal of their own prospects in the short run.” – Marc Gerstein in his book Flirting with Disaster (quoted by Arnie Gundersen in the Greenpeace report Lessons from Fukushima, on-line here )

** tons more great nuke-related quotes here