Belarus, Russia, and Fukushima: Atomexpo 2015 squashes dissent

"Chernobyl and Pripyat (4853729461)" by Roman Harak - Chernobyl and Pripyat.

“Chernobyl and Pripyat (4853729461)” by Roman Harak – Chernobyl and Pripyat.

Minsk, Belarus (nsnbc) : April 22 – 24 Belarus will be hosting the 7th Atomexpo with over 80 Belarus and Russian companies participating in the display of the latest Belarus and Russian nuclear energy technology. The expo is jointly organized by Belarus and Russia. Elephants are, like in the United States, the UK, France and any other nuclear energy exporting nation swept under the rug.

The expo aims also at highlighting the assurance of effective deliveries of equipment Belarus-built nuclear power plants. That is, it aims at export.The Atomexpo 2015 is meant to demonstrate the latest technologies to design, build, operate and secure nuclear power plants, reports the State-run Belarus news agency BelTa.

The Director of the Russian State nuclear industry corporation Rosatom, Sergei Kiriyenko addressed participants of the expo, stating that:

 “The international expo and conference Atomexpo Belarus 2015 can truly be called the key Belarusian venue for the regular exchange of experience and knowledge. Its format and the composition of participants allow discussing topical matters concerning the development of the nuclear energy industry in the Republic of Belarus along with demonstrating the latest technologies for designing, building, operating and keeping safe nuclear power plants.”

Belarus Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashenko is, according to BelTa, expected to participate in the opening ceremony along with Rosatom’s First Deputy Director General Alexander Lokshin, Belarus Energy Minister Vladimir Potupchik, the President of the merged ASE-NIAEP-AEP, Valery Limarenko, and the President of the Rosatom International Network Alexander Merten.

PR – PANEL – Critics unwelcome. On the agenda of the expo will be a panel discussion to discuss the creation of nuclear infrastructure, devices and equipment used in nuclear power plants, and “the public acceptance of nuclear energy”.

The latter translates into “promoting nuclear energy to the public while omitting what, arguably, is the height of human folly”.

The so-called “little ice age” throughout Europe happened only some 700 years ago. It included the movement of glaciers which have literally covered entire cities. Question – did the “experts” develop nuclear infrastructure on wheels that can be moved to warmer zones in case of a similar rapid climate change?None of the nations which have operated or are operating nuclear power plants have yet solved the issue of safely storing the highly toxic, so-called spent fuel. The spent fuel has to be kept in safe environments for everything between decades and tens of thousands of years. To add perspective to what is being sold by the global nuclear energy nexus, Belarus and Russia included:

  • Recorded human history spans back some 3,000 – 6,000 years. Water levels at the Black Sea rose, at some time so much that there are entire sunken cities whose origin humanity has no records of. The same holds true about, for example, sunken cities off the western and southeastern coast of India.
  • In a recent press release the Japanese operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant noted that it may take some 200 years to decommission the crippled power plant.
  • The impact of nuclear power pants on human health, e.g. the rise of incidents of leukemia and congenital diseases, cancers and other are systematically being covered up by the global nuclear power industry.
  • The revolving door policy and incestuous relationship between the IAEA, the nuclear industry, and national regulatory authorities does not exempt Russia or Belarus either, so there is no reason to assume that Belarus or Russian nuclear lobbyists and “experts” should have any more integrity than e.g. French, British, U.S. American, Indian, Vietnamese, Chinese, etc.

Elephants in the room and discrimination of dissent. 

In 2014 the Belarus journalist and critic of the nuclear energy nexus, Tatyana Novikova reported about the arrest and several-day-long detention of the Russian nuclear energy expert Michael Matskevich and other outspoken critics of the nuclear energy nexus.

Novikova has, among others, reported about the consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster that affected and still affects large swaps of Ukraine and Belarus and the prosecution and crackdown on dissent.

In 2001 a Belarus “military tribunal” sentenced Professor Yuri Bandashevsky to eight years prison with hard labor on charges of “bribery”.

The ECRR is an independent group of more than 50 eminent radiation experts, physicians and scientists whose activities aim at providing for regulators a more accurate assessment of the health risks of ionising radiation. Although Busby, not surprisingly has been denigrated and labelled as “conspiracy theorist”, one may want to look at won curt cases and actual research rather than headlines in “the guardian”.Bandashevsky documented the health impact of the catastrophic explosion of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Professor Bandashevsky’s work, that has been withheld from the public for years, was ultimately analyzed by experts including Professor Dr. Christopher Busby who used Bandashevsky’s work to evaluate the health impact of the Fukushima disaster.  Dr. Busby is Scientific Secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR) founded in Brussels in 1998.

The conclusion of Bandashevsky’s work was that the death toll of the Chernobyl disaster exceeds 100,000 rather than the few hundred death, as touted by the governments of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, the IAEA, and other nations who have a stake in the global nuclear energy nexus.

One can compare the situation in Belarus with the one in Japan, where journalists who disclose “unauthorized information”about the Fukushima Daiichi disaster risk ten-year-long prison terms.

Alternatively, like in the case of the Japanese freelance journalist Mako Oshidori, who reported about the cover-up of the death of Fukushima clean-up workers, the strategy of deterring dissent resulted in thinly veiled threats, a memo to “cut Mako San’s questions short”, and police surveillance and harassment.

Experts who are discussing the Elephants in the room are, most likely, not invited to the “round table discussion” at the Atomexpo on April 22 – 24.

Author: Christof Lehmann

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