Today, April 26, 2024, on the 38th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, when:

— the consequences of this radiation accident continue to pose a danger and are exacerbated by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine;

— about one million people live in contaminated areas in Belarus alone, where the government consciously downplays the dangers of radiation exposure and reintroduces affected lands into agricultural circulation;

— the lessons of Chernobyl are forgotten: nuclear power is increasingly called «green» and proposed as a means to combat global climate change, with increasing calls for the construction of more new nuclear power plants and the extension of the operation periods of dangerous old ones. Meanwhile, the full-cycle greenhouse gas emissions of nuclear power are far from zero; the technogenic radionuclides it generates and emits are highly toxic for hundreds of thousands of years; the problem of radioactive waste remains unsolved, continuing to pollute the environment due to unsafe storage and leaks;

— indigenous peoples around the world suffer from the consequences of toxic uranium mining and so-called reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel;

— the threat of nuclear war increases due to the ongoing aggressive rhetoric from Russia, North Korea, and the illegitimate regime of Lukashenko in Belarus, as the Doomsday Clock hands inexorably move closer to midnight;

— in conditions of conventional war, nuclear power facilities are weaponized, becoming convenient targets for the aggressor and terrorists, as well as a means of blackmail;

— insufficient measures are taken to reduce the vulnerability of operating nuclear power plants in the face of military and terrorist threats; the IAEA has shown its impotence in the situation with the Ukrainian Zaporizhzhia NPP captured by Russia;

— the continuation of purchases of Russian uranium, the use of Russian nuclear technologies and services fuels Russia’s aggressive policy and its nuclear blackmail;

— our friends and colleagues, who have defended the right of the citizens of Belarus and the European community to a favorable environment, reminding of the sad consequences of Chernobyl, the risks of nuclear power, and the military nuclear threat, are today deprived of freedom in Belarus for political reasons. Some of them, like Ryhor Kastusioŭ, sentenced to 10 years in a maximum-security colony, need medical help and must be immediately released to save their lives. The fate of some of them, like the chairman of the Belarusian Green party Dzmitry Kuchuk, is unknown.

Paying tribute to and expressing gratitude to those who sacrificed their lives and health to minimize the consequences of the 1986 radiation disaster and prevent a new disaster in 2022 in the Chernobyl zone and at the Zaporizhzhia NPP captured by Russian troops,

we remind that:

— Belarus, like other countries, has the potential for safe, non-nuclear development using modern sustainable energy technologies;

— nuclear deterrence can be non-nuclear, as timely and coordinated application of modern conventional technologies, economic means, and diplomacy provides an effective response to the aggressor;

and we urge the international community and democratic countries to give an appropriate response to nuclear threats and challenges to collective security, namely:

— refusal to build new nuclear power plants,

— refusal to extend the operation periods of aged nuclear power plants,

— refusal of nuclear military expansion and resolution of problems of global deterrence and security by conventional means,

— revision of the energy and climate agendas of countries with an orientation towards sustainable non-nuclear energy, energy efficiency, energy saving, decentralization, and increased protection of energy sector facilities;

— refusal to engage in nuclear business (trading uranium, services, and technologies of the nuclear sector and dual-use) with countries implicated in nuclear blackmail and aggression;

— immediate measures to protect nuclear power plants in risk zones, including both military risks and risks from poor operation and the suppression of problems by undemocratic regimes.

— actions for the release of political prisoners in Belarus and assistance to the Belarusian civil society in the earliest restoration of legality, basic rights and freedoms, and democratic governance in their country. We have no other choice for the current and future generations but sustainable safe renewable non-nuclear energy!

Our way must be different! 

This resolution was adopted by the Ecohome NGO, and supported by the United Transitional Cabinet of Belarus, the Office of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Pavel Latushka and the National Anti-Crisis Management.

26 April 2024