In areas contaminated by Chernobyl, wildfires are a common occurrence. Without good government management, these areas flame up every spring due to bonfires made by locals, and the fires can cover thousands of hectares. With the climate getting warmer and dryer, these fires have become more frequent and devastating in recent years. “Chernobyl-contaminated forests are ticking time bombs,” Ludmila Komogortseva tells me. A scientist and ex-deputy on Bryansk regional council – an area highly contaminated by Chernobyl – Ludmila knows the risks of Chernobyl’s fallout well. “Woods and peat accumulate radiation and every moment, every grass burning, every dropped cigarette or camp fire can spark a new disaster,” she says.
Greenpeace International 15th April 2016 read more »
Humanitarian Adi Roche is to make a landmark address to the UN General Assembly in New York to mark the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster the week after next. In an unprecedented move, the Belarusian government is to provide speaking time to Ms Roche, the voluntary CEO and founder of Chernobyl Children International (CCI), in recognition of CCI and Ireland’s role helping the victims of the accident. It is the first time an NGO has been given a country’s allocated speaking time at the assembly. CCI is the only UN-recognised NGO working in the Chernobyl-affected areas. Ms Roche will appeal for ongoing global support for the ‘liquidators’ whose heroism containing the fire and radiation in the crippled power plant saved Europe from a nuclear catastrophe. She will also press for the speedy completion of the €1.5bn sarcophagus which is being built to make Chernobyl safe for the next 100 years. Ireland has contributed €8m towards the massive international construction project which has been beset by delays.
Irish Examiner 16th April 2016 read more »
THREE decades after the incident which exposed radiation to millions of people across Europe, cancer and birth defects are still affecting families. THIRTY years after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, the children of Belarus continue to suffer from its fallout. Cancers and congenital birth defects have ruined thousands of lives, which had not even begun, when the world experienced its worst nuclear accident.The UN’s World Health Organisation and the International Atomic Energy Agency claim that only 56 people have died as a direct result of the radiation released at Chernobyl and that, ultimately, 4000 will die from it. But campaigners say the real number is closer to a million
Daily Record 15th April 2016 read more »