Activists from the Former Soviet Union Visit Santa Fe
A team of scientists, whistleblowers and activists from the former Soviet
Union and the U. S. will be visiting New Mexico to conduct environmental
sampling around Los Alamos National Laboratory, meet with community groups
and hold a public forum. This visit is sponsored by the Government
Accountability Project (GAP), as a part of their Nuclear Oversight Program.
GAP works closely with whistleblowers across the U.S. They have sponsored
numerous international exchanges between Russian and U.S. environmental
activists, whistleblowers and lawyers.
Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety (CCNS) is hosting a public meeting at
El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe on Thursday, November 16 from 6 to 8 pm. This
event is called Mutually Assured Contamination, and activists from both
Russia and the U. S. will share their experiences about trying to clean up
radioactive pollution in their communities. This event is free and open to
the public. Information about nuclear contamination in Russia and the U.S.,
Bechtel's management style and international nuclear proliferation issues
will be presented.
Nuclear weapons production in the former Soviet Union causes environmental
contamination there, just as it does here. Much of this contamination has
been focused in an area called Chelyabinsk, where a part of the nuclear
weapons complex is located. Decades of nuclear weapons production have left
the area highly contaminated.
Two of the people who will be visiting Santa
Fe, Marco Kaltofen, a civil engineer, and Sergey Pashenko, a physicist and
Director of Siberian Scientists, conducted radioactivity tests in October of
2005 in Chelyabinsk. Kaltofen said, "Our tests found that local people are
breathing highly radioactive air, drinking radioactive water and burning
radioactive wood in their fireplaces. They know not to drink the surface
water but have no choice but to use the ground water, and it's that water
and the air that are responsible for most of their exposure."
Chelyabinsk may now become the world¹s nuclear waste dump. At the recent G-8
Summit, Presidents Vladimir Putin and George W. Bush announced their joint
intent to increase nuclear energy use world-wide and import the waste to
Activists on the forefront of the effort to protect the environment in the
both the former Soviet Union and the United States will be speaking in Santa
Fe at El Museo Cultural. Along with Marco Kaltofen and Sergey Paschenko,
Natalia Miranova, President of Movement for Nuclear Safety in Russia, and
Tom Carpenter, GAP Nuclear Program Director, will speak. The event is free
and open to the public and will be held on Thursday, November 16th from 6 to
Abby Hagel, of GAP, said, "the Government Accountability Project, alongside
colleagues from the former Soviet Union, is making this trip to New Mexico
because of the unique opportunity it offers to encourage collaboration and
partnership between activists, scientists, and policy planners. The
pressing environmental and social issues present at Los Alamos are
long-lived and have not been adequately addressed; it is crucial that we
listen to those directly influenced by these concerns, uniting across
geographical boundaries to confront these issues now."