Ban Ki-moon. A visit to Chernobyl

The article with the same name, published in The New York Times, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (Ban Ki-Moon) tells the story of his trip to the zone of the Chernobyl disaster and shares his thoughts on the lessons of this tragedy.

25 years ago, an explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant threw a radioactive cloud over Europe and the whole world was in his shadow. Today, the tragedy of Fukushima-milk continues, raising fears of the people and vznimayuchy difficult questions.

A few days ago I was in Chernobyl, saw the wrong reactor sarcophagus covered flaunted. The nearby town of Pripyat — dead and immersed in the silence, empty houses are falling apart as a silent reminder of lives left, the whole world is thrown and lost to those who loved him.

More than 300,000 the man wasand moved after the accident at Chernobyl, on general estimates of more than six million people have somehow been affected by the accident. Area half of Italy or my own country, South Korea, was contaminated.

It's one thing to read about Chernobyl, being far away. It's quite another to see it. For me, it was impressive, and the pictures will stay in my mind for years to come. I quoted the Ukrainian proverb: "There is someone else's grief." The same is true of nuclear disasters. There is no tragedy of one country.

Once again, we learn that nuclear disasters NO restrictions. They are a direct threat to human health and the environment. They affect any economic activity, ranging from agriculture and ending trade and international services.

We should think the time has come for this global discussion. Many point out that nuclear energy is a clean and logical choice in times of decreasing natural resources. But events force us to talk about it: whether we have calculated the risks and costs? Or do we need to guarantee the safety of the people?

If the consequences are catastrophic, safety must be the paramount concern. The consequences have no borders, it touches everyone, because the issue should be discussed at the global level.

That's why, visited Ukraine on the 25th anniversary of the disaster, I have proposed a strategy for improving nuclear safety in five points:

The first is necessary to revise the current standards of safety at national and international levels.

The second is necessary to strengthen the work of the IAEA.

The third is necessary to pay greater attention to the relationship between the effects of natural disasters and nuclear safety. Climate change leads to increase in the number of cases of abnormal climatic phenomena. Given the planned construction of nuclear power plants in the coming decades, our vulnerability will increase.

The fourth is necessary to carry out new calculations of cost-effectiveness of nuclear energy, given the new costs to provide training for natural disasters and measures to eliminate the consequences, if there is irreparable.

Fifth necessary to strengthen the bond of nuclear safety and security. At a time when terrorists seek nuclear materials, we can say with confidence that nuclear power plants that are safe for their country to be safe for around the world.

My visit to Chernobyl was not my first visit to a place associated with nuclear energy. . A year ago I was at Semipalatinsk in Kazakhstan where nuclear tests were conducted in the Soviet Union. Last summer in Japan, I met with hibakusha — survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Hibakusha translates from Japanese as "the people who get exposed to the explosion."

I have visited these places to emphasize the importance of disarmament. For decades, negotiators have sought agreement on nuclear arms reduction and even its destruction. In the past year we have witnessed positive developments in this direction.

Remembering the Chernobyl and Fukushima, we must broaden their view. From now on, we need to treat nuclear safety as well as we treat nuclear weapons.

The world is facing many alarming hazards. It's time to look at the facts. We are obliged to introduce people to the high standards of preparedness for extreme situations, the construction of new nuclear power plants and a new standard management to decommissioning.

Issues of nuclear energy and security are no longer sovereign issues of individual countries. They are important for around the world. We need new international standards for construction, security guarantee, full transparency and exchange of information between countries.

Let this be the legacy of Chernobyl. Despite the silence, I saw signs of returning life. A new protective sarcophagus built over the reactor. People are starting to come back. Let's dispel the last cloud of Chernobyl and offer a better future to those who for too long have lived in his shadow.

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