cannot be forgotten...
Hümeyra Imirzalioglu KOÇAK
The devastating explosion of the nuclear
power plant in Chernobyl cannot be forgotten.
It is the 20th anniversary
of the deadliest accident that occurred
on April 26, 1986. Thousands of people
died and millions were affected by diseases
afterwards. When we hear Chernobyl, the
first thing that comes to our minds are
its radiation effects on humans and the
Turkey and Europe have been greatly affected
by the Chernobyl explosion. The radiation
released by the accident was 100 times
that of Hiroshima and will remain active
for thousands of years. Even though the
nuclear power plant was shut down, there
is still a leakage after all these years.
That is a major threat to the environment
and human life.
I think, it is a good time to remember and
reconsider our decisions on nuclear power
one more time. Dangerous reactors will
be operated based on the "learn from
your mistakes" principle. The disaster
was caused by technicians not following
There were sad stories following the accident.
People could not live in their villages,
because they were buried underground.
So was their culture. Many people were
evacuated without any belongings. Many
could not have jobs because of the health
problems from radiation exposure from
Chernobyl. People could not eat "clean"
food. There are many disturbing facts
that people had had to face, unborn babies
with severely defected brain and organs.
Almost 200,000 women had to abort their
years later, the people are still suffering
economically, physiologically, socially
and physically. Anger and hopelessness
of the future caused significant psychological
disorders and resulted in higher suicide
rates, alcoholism, increased crime and
other negative social behavior.
Chernobyl deaths cannot be ignored. Obviously
nuclear reactors are not safe. Bad design
and operation of nuclear plants can cause
internal accidents or external hazards
like in Chernobyl.
I believe that the money to be spent on nuclear
energy production should instead be used
to provide basic human needs such as clean
water, uncontaminated food and health
care. That would change the future of
the people in need. Decision makers can
save millions of lives and prevent 10
million children from dying of cancer
and other diseases around the world.
We people have the right to live in a healthier
and cleaner environment. But today, millions
of people live in poverty and cannot fulfill
their basic needs to live. It is so cruel
to ignore those facts and allocate billions
of dollars for nuclear power. Why are
the politicians struggling to have nuclear
power where we can have other sustainable
energy sources that are safe? I hope for
a better future when people can live peacefully
in a fear-and radiation-free world. I
believe it is humanitarian organizations'
duty to acknowledge the scale of the disaster
and provide further aid to the people
suffering because of that. Please do not
let history to be repeated, we don't want
Sources: Atomic Engines, Inc.
Power Is Still A Bad Idea
Written for the Light Millennium
by Hümeyra Imirzalioglu Koçak
April 14, 2006 - New York