Chernobyl 32 years on: living with the fallout
Thirty-two years after the explosion of the nuclear reactor in Chernobyl and the world's worst nuclear disaster, work on the New Safe Confinement building meant to cover the ruins and contain nuclear emissions is progressing slowly. For Europe's media this is not the only indication that the nuclear disaster is far from over.
Liquidators only remembered on anniversary
On the 32nd anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster journalist Nana Tschorna shines a spotlight on the so-called "liquidators" who helped to deal with the consequences of the accident:
“Gatherings and events are taking place all over the country today. The state representatives will hold speeches about the Chernobyl heroes, about their heroic deeds which we will always remember, and present them with gifts. Now, in general, everything is going according to 'best tradition'. But afterwards: completely forgotten. Until the next anniversary the Chernobyl liquidators will receive around 200 hryvnia [around 6,25 euros] for their recovery and a paltry pension. That's it. That's how short the state's memory is - from anniversary to anniversary.”
Danger in the food chain
Neither Chernobyl nor Fukushima have been overcome, Maria Arvaniti-Sotiropoulou, president of the Greek section of NGO International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, warns in Avgi:
“Chernobyl is not over. Its repercussions are still claiming lives and will persist for at least another 60 years - because the caesium, which is currently present in large amounts in foodstuffs, is still being emitted, and this will intensify because of Fukushima. Fukushima is also often erroneously seen as a tragedy of the past. But the release of radioactive substances from the three damaged reactors still continues today - both into the atmosphere and in the form of the 300 tonnes of radioactive water that flow every day into the Pacific Ocean. This water contaminates the marine food chain, and therefore also fish that are often consumed by humans.”