On May 11, 2011 the Senate of the Australian Parliament passed the resolution regarding the 25th anniversary of the Chornobyl disaster.
In this resolution at the highest political level Australia noted the important factors for the international community and Ukraine, as following:
- Relevant heavy social and economic impacts on the population and areas affected by the Chornobyl disaster;
- Shut down by Ukraine (in 1991, 1996 and 2000) of the three remaining reactors at the Chornobyl site and construction of the confinement over reactor number four which urgently requires replacement;
- Great importance of the nuclear power for the national power industry of Ukraine and its functioning according to the internationally agreed nuclear safety standards of the International Atomic Energy Agency;
- The importance of nuclear safety.
The resolution was initiated by the Senator Catryna Bilyk, Head of the Australia – Ukraine Parliamentary Group of the Australian Parliament.
Earlier the Australian Government has also joined the Declaration of Kyiv Summit on Safe and Innovative Use of Nuclear Energy, held on April 19, 2011 by the initiative of the President of Ukraine Victor Yanukovych.
The full text of the resolution is given below.
FOREIGN AFFAIRS—CHORNOBYL—NUCLEAR REACTOR ACCIDENT
(a) notes that:
(i) 25 years have passed since an explosion and fire destroyed the number four reactor at the nuclear power plant at Chornobyl, on 26 April 1986,
(ii) 28 deaths are directly attributable to the incident, although the World Health Organization estimates that thousands of additional cancer deaths, including deaths from thyroid cancer and leukaemia, may result from the incident,
(iii) 116 000 people were immediately evacuated following the incident and another 230 000 people were relocated in subsequent years,
(iv) an estimated 200 000 clean-up workers from the army, power plant staff, local police and fire services were initially involved in containing and cleaning up the radioactive debris during 1986-87,
(v) more than 5 million people still live in areas of Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine that were contaminated by radiation from the incident,
(vi) Ukraine has shut down (in 1991, 1996 and 2000) the three remaining reactors at the Chornobyl site and constructed a sarcophagus over reactor number four which urgently requires replacement, and
(vii) nuclear power accounts for approximately one-third of Ukraine's electricity production, it has 15 nuclear power plants in operation and 2 under construction, and its nuclear power plant operators follow the internationally agreed nuclear safety standards of the International Atomic Energy Agency;
(b) commemorates the 25th anniversary of the Chornobyl disaster; and
(c) acknowledges the importance of nuclear safety.