The consequences of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant catastrophe are far from over, German member of European Parliament Rebecca Harms has warned on the thirty-second anniversary of the 1986 disaster.
“Many people tend to say we are already more than thirty years after Chernobyl. For me this is wrong. We are not after Chernobyl. There is not a period, really, after Chernobyl,” Harms says.
Despite the recent completion of the New Safe Confinement structure to contain the remains of the No. 4 reactor unit, Harms points out that its construction took three decades. Furthermore, she claims that both Ukraine and the international community are still lacking a “a clear plan for decontamination of the affected territories.”
Instead, Harms suggests that moving forward, Ukraine should explore its options and move away from nuclear technology.
“We have very, very good alternatives,” Harms explains. “We have low risk technologies compared to high risk nuclear technology. So, especially for Ukraine, I would wish that we would here in this country decide to forget about the nuclear future and to pave the way for a sustainable, renewable energy future of this country.”
For Harms, the 1986 catastrophe in Ukraine and the 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan are sufficient evidence that nuclear energy is not worth the risks.
“Chernobyl was a warning,” says Harms. “Facing the problems of the clean up it will be much better not to create more possibilities for another catastrophe but to phase out nuclear.”
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