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Chernobyl's lessons to Europe: Decades later stepping on the same rake in Belarus?
This year, on 26 April, Europe commemorated the 35-year history of the Chernobyl disaster, one of the most severe nuclear accidents in the world's history. The consequences of Chernobyl are still present and will continue to pose a threat for many generations to come. However, 35 years after this tragic event, the European Union is again witnessing the "Chernobyl style" operation of a nuclear power plant on its doorstep – the Belarusian nuclear power plant in Astravyets (the Astravyets NPP), situated right on the doorstep of a European capital city (Vilnius). The Astravyets NPP was launched last year, despite the fact that Belarus failed to implement or comply with crucial European nuclear safety recommendations and remains non-compliant with various international nuclear safety agreements. The many accidents, deaths of constructions workers, and most importantly the constant concealment of the information at this site should remind us of the notorious Soviet approach to nuclear safety that led to tragic consequences in the case of the Chernobyl NPP disaster. Belarus' regime recently (10 June 2021) issued final authorisation for industrial operation of the first NPP unit despite still unresolved safety issues. The Astravyets NPP is raising serious concerns not only among Lithuanians, but among the whole European community, including Belarusian society itself: can the terror regime in Belarus, which has audaciously hijacked civil airplane travelling between two European capitals, be trusted with a nuclear power station right on the EU border? Therefore, the European Movement Lithuania (EML) is inviting the European community to discuss the following: • Chernobyl's lessons for Europe • The current state of the Astravyets NPP operations (including nuclear safety) • Ways to ensure that our European future will never again be endangered by the repetition of a nuclear disaster Among speakers and participants: • Egidijus Meilūnas, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania • Petros Fassoulas, Secretary General of the European Movement International • Romas Švedas, former Vice-Minister of Energy of the Republic of Lithuania, European Movement Lithuania Board Member • Irina Gruschewaja, Founder of the initiative "For the Children of Chernobyl" and Winner of the "Women of Europe 2011" Award • Petras Auštrevičius, Member of the European Parliament (Renew Europe) and Chair of the Board of the Movement against the Astravyets NPP • Rebecca Harms, former Member of the European Parliament • Tatiana Novikova, Representative of the environmental NGO "Ekodom" (Belarus) Moderator: Vykintas Pugačiauskas. International News Editor at Lithuanian National Radio and Television
16:00 - 17:30
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