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Greenpeace inaugurates photo exhibition to mark 25 th anniversary of Chernobyl

25 April, 2011

Eminent citizens attending the exhibition call for stopping the Jaitapur Nuclear reactor park

Mumbai, 24 April 2011 : Greenpeace today launched “A Photography Exhibition on the Human Cost of Nuclear Accidents” by renowned photographer Robert Knoth to mark the 25 th Anniversary Chernobyl nuclear disaster that took place on the morning of 26 th April, 1986 . Speaking at the launch, Greenpeace India Executive Director, Samit Aich, said, “Mumbai today is at the heart of the debate on whether or not India should build the largest nuclear reactor park in the world, a 9900 MW EPR at Jaitapur. The people of Jaitapur don't want it. The situation is reaching a boiling point, because Mr. Chavan has failed to address their concerns in any credible manner and instead resorted to suppressing their protest.” Referring to the continuing nuclear emergency in Fukushima and the continuing legacy of contamination in Chernobyl , Mr Aich concluded, “Why do we want a technology that is inherently dangerous when we can have clean, safe and energy secure power solutions if we choose energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.”

Greenpeace radiation experts working in the Ukraine have released a report on the high levels of radioactive contamination in several types of basic food, 25 years after the Chernobyl Disaster. In one village alone in the Rivnenska region (1), Greenpeace found that the long-lived isotope caesium - 137(2) in 93 percent of the milk samples exceeded acceptable Ukrainian levels for Children (3) by factors ranging between 1.2 and 16.3. Thousands of Ukrainian children suffering from weak bones, anemia need to be sent away every year to uncontaminated areas for at least a month, in order to allow the body to get rid of some of the Cesium-137 accumulated through eating everyday food like milk , mushrooms, berry ,jam and meat.

Inaugurating the exhibition, Tushar Gandhi, a peace activist and great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, said, “We cannot have a democratically elected government, ignore the wishes of its people and force an inherently dangerous technology on its people against the interest of their security and welfare. Mr Chavan must remember that the government is of the people, for the people and by the people. The recent violence is a sign that he seems to have forgotten that.”

India has 20 reactors currently in operation and it plans to increase its fleet with additional 37foreign reactors. In Maharashtra , the proposed Jaitapur nuclear reactor park would be the largest nuclear power park in the world. After Fukushima , Japan 's nuclear catastrophe, it was expected that the Central and State govt. should have put all the proposed nuclear power plants on hold. In Europe , the German and French governments were forced to reconsider the viability of nuclear powers. Despite the growing public sentiment in Jaitapur and amongst eminent citizens, including leading scientists, the Indian government has stuck to the notion that nuclear is the only option available.

 

Notes to the editor-

 

•  Greenpeace report on Chernobyl : http:// www.greenpeace.org/ international/campaigns/nuclear/nomorechernobyls.

•  Photo video about the contamination in Chernobyl : http:// www.greenpeace.org/ international/multimedia/videos.foodforthought

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WQ_1GMws-U

•  Greenpeace report on food contamination in Chernobyl : https://p3- admin.greenpeace.org/india/Global/india/report/Food%20contamination%20report.pdf ,

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/makingwaves/the-milk-of-chernobyl/blog/33675

 

Contact:

Karuna Raina, Nuclear Campaigner, +91 9901799669, karuna.raina@greenpeace.org

Dr. Seema Javed, Senior Media officer , +919910059765, seema.javed@greenpeace.org

Hozefa Merchant, Media Officer , +919819592410, hozefa.merchant@greenpeace.org

For Greenpeace Photo and Video:
Sudhanshu Malhotra: Photo Desk In-Charge : +91 9810058019, sudhanshu.malhotra@greenpeace.org

Areeb Hashmi: Video Desk Incharge: +91 9999246267, Areeb.hashmi@greenpeace.org




 


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