25 years since Chernobyl - standing in solidarity with the people of Ukraine

26 April 2011

On the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Friends of the Earth Europe stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and neighbouring countries, remembering those affected by the catastrophe. Friends of the Earth Europe also stands with those still affected by the tsunami and ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan – where the severity level of the nuclear crisis has been raised to maximum, on a par with Chernobyl.

The Chernobyl catastrophe is still a reality, and nuclear power remains more than ever a threat to people and planet – a fact driven home by the unfortunate events in Japan. Friends of the Earth Europe calls on European governments to start phasing out nuclear power across Europe, and calls on national authorities in the Ukraine and Japan do everything possible to prevent the immeasurable damage to people, the environment and the local ecosystem that further radioactive leaks will cause.

Pavlo Khazan, climate change and energy campaigner for Friends of the Earth Ukraine, says: "People in the Ukraine are still suffering 25 years after the nuclear catastrophe at Chernobyl. The events in Japan highlight that nuclear accidents on a scale of Chernobyl can happen again, and that no matter how prepared, there are risks with nuclear power – with disastrous consequences for people and planet. My generation saw the beginning of the nuclear threat, and I hope we will see its end."

Friends of the Earth Europe calls upon the European Commission to demand a genuine, open process to bring about the end of the nuclear age in Europe. The only safe and secure form of energy is that which harnesses clean, renewable resources, or the energy we save through increased energy efficiency.

Resistance against nuclear power, and for the right energy solutions, is growing across Europe. Anti-nuclear demonstrations, and solidarity actions with the people affected by Chernobyl and the nuclear crisis in Japan, take place today across Europe. Twelve mass demonstrations yesterday across Germany brought over 120,000 thousand people on the streets. Over 1,500 gathered in Brussels, Belgium.