More than three decades have passed since the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. It has been the accident the consequences of which we will feel for hundreds and thousands of years. The planetary burden of these tragic events forced us to eliminate the deadly outcome of the atomic experiment. The consequences of the accident made us think seriously about the fundamental problems of interaction between man and nature. After all, the way of social relations between people is primarily reflected in nature.
Ukraine, together with the world, is solving a lot of environmental, social and economic problems in the Chernobyl Zone today. Initially, it tries to reanimate, or vice versa, to completely isolate the Zone from a person. Experts are making efforts to debunk many myths around the Chernobyl accident, its consequences, and the like. All of these are extremely important practical problems. So, they need to be addressed systematically, and most importantly, with a new worldview. Our worldview is completely strange. So, we use the Michurin principle to take everything from nature, without giving anything in return.
There are the words of I.V. Michurin, a Soviet biologist and breeder. “We cannot wait for favors from nature. This is our task to take them from it.”
We learned to take long ago, but we still don’t know how to give. Our consumer attitude towards the environment is a mirror image of contemporary relationships in a social life. First of all, by acting barbarously to everything that surrounds us, we doom nature to suffering. The atom, like all nature, is neither peaceful, nor aggressive, nor kind, nor evil. It is peaceful when we are caring and responsible, and warlike when we are careless and not forward-thinking.
The way Ukraine copes with the environmental, social and economic consequences of the Chernobyl disaster is a direct evidence of its civilizational maturity. Certainly, the nature and scale of the Chernobyl disaster is unprecedented in human history. So, it is logical that the methods of overcoming it are far from any patterns of dealing with man-made accidents.
What should be learned first?
Today, it is time to develop not just a set of measures or a strategy for dealing with the consequences of the Chernobyl accident. A new worldview and a new philosophy will appear in the 21st century. No matter how pathetic it sounds. Only a society with a new consciousness can effectively resist the echo of the events of 34 years ago. Unfortunately, even a quick glance at the current state of our cities testifies to the absence of this consciousness.
City sidewalks, roadsides, forest outskirts and plantings are covered with garbage. As a result, cities are turning into garbage cemeteries. This is an indicator of the careless and extreme negligence of citizens towards their land. However, someone might argue that there is no connection between the use of a peaceful atom at the ChNPP and garbage dumps. But don’t jump to any conclusions. Take a deeper look at the impending new environmental disaster. Cumulative carelessness can lead to disaster in any industry whether it is nuclear, space, housing and utilities.
In the conditions of the prevailing reality, no matter what a person does today. The main thing is the environmental safety of the type of activity. It is that security, which begins for everyone with the elementary use of energy-saving technologies in everyday life. The point is not only in the high cost of energy resources, but also in the understanding that they are not unlimited.
It has become obvious today that nuclear energy is unable to meet the energy problems of Europe. The Nuclear Energy Agency agrees: “The cost of it is growing rapidly every year”. And Greenpeace does not tire of reminding: “The nuclear industry poses a huge environmental threat”.
Speaking about the problems in the industry, specialists of this organization urge the world to face the truth. The contribution of the nuclear industry to satisfaction of the energy needs of Europe and to the fight against dangerous climate change is insignificant. But nuclear energy is a costly industry. And it also poses an environmental threat. The surrounding debate is a distraction from the issues of environmental protection and energy independence of Europe.
Is there a way out?
Nuclear energy production in Europe will have led to a 4% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This is a critical minimum figure against the background of the required 80% reduction in such emissions. And such drastic measures, taken everywhere, are essential to avoid the worst effects of climate change on the planet. In turn, the spread of nuclear energy will require an investment of about 6 trillion Euros.
Yes, nuclear energy is not capable of constructively solving problems of environmental safety. It poses a danger associated with the disposal of highly toxic nuclear waste and the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The nuclear twentieth century is long gone. Nevertheless, Europe sometimes continues to suppress information about its locations of nuclear waste storage facilities.
An economically viable option for energy security is a system based on renewable energy sources. So, it upholds the principles of energy efficiency. Greenpeace in cooperation with the European Renewable Energy Council has already prepared an “energy revolution” plan. Its implementation by rejection of existing nuclear reactors will reduce emissions by 50% by 2050. Europe’s phasing out of nuclear energy and the introduction of alternative energy sources will save 590 billion Euros.
It all looks very optimistic, but so far not many are undertaking to promote the “energy revolution”. In addition, no one is going to put the nuclear power industry on the “bench” yet. Moreover, the plan of the International Atomic Energy Agency provides for an annual increase in the construction of new nuclear reactors.
In the 1980s, at the age of maximum growth in nuclear power, the industry built about 17 large reactors annually. Today, nuclear power plants operate in 31 countries of the world. There are 451 power reactors in the world and 55 are under construction. So, there is something to think about, and it is not necessary to be an activist of Greenpeace. It is enough just to show social responsibility and start with the simplest to save electricity in everyday life. Over time, social responsibility will lead society to unwillingness to throw garbage on the sides of forest belts. It will help us understand that the Earth is our common home, littering in which is more expensive to us.