Synthesis/Regeneration 9   (Winter 1996)

10th Commemoration Activities: April 26, 1996


Ongoing Consequences of the Nuclear Accident

On April 26, 1986, a catastrophic nuclear accident demolished the Russian-made RBMK-1000 type reactor at Chernobyl Unit 4 just 80 miles from Kiev, Ukraine. Power plant operators lost control of the reactor while conducting experiments at low power. An enormous explosion of the reactor core occurred and a mammoth amount of heat and fragmented radioactive fuel was violently thrown into the atmosphere. The atomic fire burned for days before Swedish authorities alerted the world to the return of nuclear fallout spewed high into the atmosphere. Only months early, the February edition of Soviet Life had propagandized that operating the Chernobyl nuclear power plants was "safer than driving a car."

The facts are still coming forward:

Chernobyl +10 Activities

In coordination with Greenpeace, Children of Chernobyl Relief Fund, and grassroots organizations all across the United States, Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) is facilitating a campaign to refocus public attention on the growing medical and sociological consequences from the radioactive fallout of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and its obvious implications for the ongoing operation of aging nuclear power plants in the United States and around the world.

On April 26, 1996 an international community will observe the 10th commemoration of this catastrophic nuclear accident. This date provides the anti-nuclear movement in the United States an opportunity to educate and activate the public to the increasing danger that nuclear power poses to our local communities while simultaneously extending a helping hand to a growing population of radiological victims in Ukraine, Belarus and southwestern Russia.

Chernobyl+10 Education Packets

NIRS and Greenpeace are producing an education packet to supplement local organizing efforts utilizing well researched fact sheets on specific topics relating to the Chernobyl accident; a historical account of the accident, the current status of the damaged reactor and the sarcophagus, the ongoing health and sociological impacts of the radioactive fallout, and the implications for the US nuclear power station nearest your community.

Community Relief Collection Tables for
Chernobyl Victims at Your Local Nuclear Utility

Local groups can establish a legal presence outside of nuclear utility offices (headquarters, regional billing offices, nuclear power plant gates, etc.) as a distribution point for literature packets and publicized collection points for targeted relief supplies for Chernobyl victims. A specific list of needed supplies includes such items as over-the-counter drugs (children's aspirin, cough syrup, etc.), nutritional supplements (multivitamins, mineral supplements, etc.), and canned baby food. The targeted relief effort will specify the relief supplies would be collected and shipped for distribution (no clothes, please). Shipments of the collected supplies would then be made to New Jersey where the Children of Chernobyl Fund, an established and accredited relief agency, will facilitate the overseas transport of the relief materials to the radiation victims. These action/vigils are planned to begin well in advance of April 26, 1996 so as to build momentum and public awareness for the commemorative event.

Media events to publicize these activities will be coordinated locally, nationally and internationally to focus public attention on the dangers of nuclear power while promoting humanitarian relief to Chernobyl victims. Materials focused on alternatives to nuclear power will also be made available as part of the educational packet.

Nuclear Information and Resource Service, 1424 16th Street NW Suite 601, Washington, DC 20036 202/328-0002 fax: 202/462-2183

NIRS contact: Paul Gunter, Reactor Watchdog Project, 202-328-0002 .
A "Chernobyl +10" section is being posted on the NIRS Homepage at

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