What happened in Severodvinsk? What is happening near Astravets?
There is the information about an explosion at the military training ground with radiation discharges near Severodvinsk; about a recent fire (NEXTA channel) or inflammation (Ministry of Emergency Situations) at an unfinished Belarusian nuclear power plant; that a crane operator died and another worker died as well; that they would soon bring nuclear fuel there; and regardless of all the unresolved security problems and technical flaws, gaffes and imperfections, they will press the start button. The information is scarce. They carefully hide it.
Instead of the guidelines on what the population should do in case of an accident, in Astravets they broadcast absolutely transcendent propaganda - “I love all my atoms” - while clear instructions and timely actions during the radiation release can save people's lives and health! Apparently, the authorities care neither about the life nor the health of the population. The worst thing is, the population doesn’t care about these things either.
However, the same “population”, and the same authorities, tired of the theme of Chernobyl and oncology, premature deaths and polluted products, watch the “Chernobyl” TV show with interest. Will they make any conclusions, and what they will be, if so?
Severodvinsk and Astravets are not quite near, and not exactly about the same thing, but there is a very clear and dangerous connection between them. And there is a connection with Chernobyl, too. The first, and the second, and the third are the brainchilds of Rosatom. And if everything is secret in Severodvinsk and no one knows about isotopes and real danger, under Astravets it will be the same.
What is the terrible precedent of Severodvinsk? If Chernobyl was the first large-scale nuclear disaster, after which the society shook up and began to take some measures, and Fukushima put an end to nuclear projects in several countries of the world, then after the release of ruthenium last year and the year before at Mayak, not a single muscle moved on the face of the corporation responsible for the incident. They said “this is not ours” and “we have nothing to do with it,” and they continue to say the same, despite all the investigations and evidence. Severodvinsk risks to become a precedent in world practice like the Crimea. When something happens that violates all the conventions, standards and generally accepted norms of humanity. And after the asymmetrically weak response of the international community to this, the responsible party demonstratively washes hands and does nothing! That is, Severodvinsk runs the risk of showing the world that it is possible to blow up small atomic “power sources” and then hide information from the whole world.
Was it not the same thing during the construction of the Astravets NPP, when obvious violations and incidents are denied and concealed? If a knowledge corporation makes an unsuccessful launch or an unsuccessful action that, with all other problems, leads to an outburst, will someone report to their own “population” and neighboring Lithuania? It is unlikely, because Severodvinsk, which, by the way, is not quite far from the borders with the EU, has shown that this can be done and nothing will happen.
Of course, at some point everything will collapse and the problems will come out in such a way that both the Russian and the Belarusian authorities will be as good as dead, and after all the incidents and emergencies, and God forbid, a radiation disaster, the project will be closed, but it will be at the cost of lives and health the people who could be saved. Imagine that if everyone had pressed a button and signed a petition, and there would have been a million of us, this would not have happened, many would have been alive and well, and the beautiful Belarusian Lake District would have remained clean, and there you could have a rest, fish, pick mushrooms and berries. Do you think they would ignore if there were at least 100 thousand? I don’t think so. And if even 30 thousand appeals came to the corridors of power through the site petitions.by, would they pretend that this didn’t happen? Hardly. They did react to a surge of attention to the fallen “barrel” and changed it.
We had one last chance until they deliver the fuel, which is planned by October, then when the fuel is irradiated, Belarus will have to store and repack it for thousands of years, only naive students or schoolchildren can believe that it will be taken to Russia for good. It is still realistic to stop, at least for a while, at least in order to eliminate the most egregious problems and implement the recommendations of international organizations and experts. Sign the petition, or make your own, or express the position in some other way, but so that this happens now, when everyone is speaking, in one voice!
Tatyana Novikova, specially for Charter97.org