35th anniversary of Chernobyl

35th anniversary of Chernobyl

Today April 26 marks the 32nd anniversary of the Chernobyl accident, which clearly showed the danger posed by nuclear power plants with devastating effects that affect 4.5 million affected people.

On this anniversary Ecologists in Action wants to highlight the concealment of the state of degradation of the nuclear power plants in our country and the crude attempt by the main political leaders to continue guaranteeing the economic benefits of nuclear companies.

At dawn on April 26, there were two explosions in reactor number 4 of the Chernobyl plant (Ukraine) that lifted the slab of more than 500 tonnes that covered the reactor into the air and scattered a huge amount of waste into the environment. radioactive products. Poor design, a security experiment motivated by political pressure, secretive management and the inherent risk of maintaining a chain reaction resulted in the worst nuclear accident of all time, with simply devastating effects: 4.5 million of affected people, a contaminated area - equivalent to a third of Spain - located in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, a radioactive cloud that traveled throughout Europe, left a thin layer of plutonium and intensely affected countries as far away as Austria, a an area of ​​30 kilometers radius uninhabitable and tens of thousands of victims, the total number of which has not yet been agreed upon, mainly due to the agreement between the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to assess the effects of nuclear accidents.

This accident definitively stopped the nuclear expansion in the world and meant that many political groups and countries took a position against this source of energy. However, in Spain the PP Government insists on keeping the nuclear power plants in operation until they are 50 or perhaps 60 years old. The recent report from mix energy and the statements of the Minister of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda, Álvaro Nadal, erroneously argue the need for nuclear power for the energy transition, but they obviate that the lack of flexibility of this energy source hinders the deployment of renewables.

Ecologists in Action points out that the report itself states that the central debate on nuclear power is that of safety. Thus, for the environmental organization, the accumulation of incidents that have forced the power plants to stop in recent months.AlmarazCofrentes YVandellós make clear the state of degradation of these facilities, and therefore the enormous risk they pose. Similarly, the costs of lengthening the life of nuclear power plants are underestimated. Proof of this is the constant increase of the 12,000 million euros foreseen in 2006 for the management of nuclear waste, which currently has been estimated at 20,000 million. Costs and risks that reject the extension of the life of the plants and their closure as the activity licenses expire, a necessary step to prevent the public from assuming again the investment costs of the extension as the owners of these facilities intend.

For himIberian Antinuclear Movement, of which Ecologistas en Acción is a part, only the economic interests of large companies explain the continuity of this energy source. In Spain, the electricity market is tailor-made for nuclear operators, who receive huge income in the form of "profits from the sky" that actually come out of the pockets of consumers. As if this were not enough, the power plants will continue to generate high-level radioactive waste, which has generated the conflict in the Villar de Cañas (Cuenca) ATC and forces the expansion of the El Cabril (Córdoba) middle and low cemetery or the search for another location, events that also involve social conflicts.

For all these reasons, Ecologists in Action and the Iberian Antinuclear Movement demand the closure of the nuclear plants as their exploitation permits expire, so that the Iberian peninsula will be free of this threat in 2024.

More information: Paco Castejón, spokesperson for Ecologists in Action and coordinator of the Iberian Antinuclear Movement, 639 104 233

Video: First hours after the accident at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (October 2020).