Nuclear experts are scared. Belgium just restarted two ancient power plants, despite the discovery of 16,000 cracks last year in two of the reactors, and a recent explosion at another. They threaten to spark another Chernobyl disaster right in the heart of Europe!
Last week, nearly 900,000 European Avaazers won a campaign demanding international inspections, and got this dangerous story all over the media. If Avaazers around the world join in now, we could get a UN environmental impact body to help shut down the sites for good until they’re proven safe.
Belgium’s government is under intense pressure. If we build the largest global call ever for energy safety, we can shut these sites down and set a precedent in Europe that could help close dozens of hazardous nuclear plants across the world. Let’s urgently get 2 million of us behind this push — sign and share on Facebook, Twitter, email… everywhere before it is too late:
We are entering a new era of nuclear risk. The 25 oldest nuclear reactors in Europe are close to or past their 35 years of operation. But this is not just a European problem — nuclear sites in the US, Japan, India, and Russia are facing similar challenges. And an accident anywhere could threaten people everywhere.
As our nuclear plants get older, the number of failures and accidents keeps growing: elevated amounts of radiation in groundwater was detected near a plant just 25 miles away from New York City, and there was a reported 50% increase in unexpected failures globally between 2000 and 2006.
Belgium is becoming a symbol of the worldwide dangers posed by ageing nuclear plants: in 2014, it set the record for unexpected problems at its nuclear reactors: leaks, cracks and even an explosion last December. Experts say that because some of the cracks are on “one of the most vulnerable parts” of the plant, “if the reactor pressure fails, then we have a Chernobyl or a Fukushima-type accident”.
But we have a powerful chance to deactivate this nuclear time bomb in Europe: a UN Convention to prevent environmental damage obliges countries undertaking major projects that might have adverse impact across borders to notify and consult all affected governments and stakeholders. With mounting pressure from Germany and other neighbouring countries and massive public opposition, a call from the UN now could put enough pressure on Belgium, forcing it to shut down the plants.
An accident in Belgium could spread radiation way beyond Belgium’s borders and be truly catastrophic. Europeans and people elsewhere should not have to live on the brink of nuclear disaster. Click to join now and tell everyone:
Avaaz campaigned for the world to agree to an ambitious deal at the Paris climate talks to save our planet from the devastating effects of fossil fuels. Now let’s make sure we don’t put our planet at risk gambling with these disastrous, creaking nuclear plants.
With hope and determination,
Luca, Luis, Alaphia, Ana, Marigona, Emma, Alice, Spyro and the rest of the Avaaz Team