Chernobyl, 30 Years Later


ELAW Bulletin

Olena Kravchenko, 1986

In 1986, Olena Kravchenko joined hundreds of school children marching in a May Day parade in Kyiv, Ukraine.

This was five days after the April 26 steam explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant sent a plume of radioactivity over the western Soviet Union, Europe, and the eastern U.S.

The Soviet government knew about the explosion but did nothing to prevent this large gathering.

"Many in my generation have died of thyroid cancer.  We had no idea there was any danger," says Olena.

Today, Olena is working to ensure that Ukraine's children can enjoy clean air, clean water, and a healthy environment.  She is Executive Director of Environment-People-Law, Eastern Europe's leading grassroots environmental law organization.  "Nuclear power is a bad solution for Ukraine's energy needs," says Olena.  EPL is working with ELAW to challenge government plans to build new nuclear power plants or extend the leases of old ones.  We are also working to keep coal in the ground and speed up the introduction of alternative sources of energy.

ELAW has collaborated with EPL for 20 years.  Read more about EPL's work on their website.

Learn more about our work and how you can support ELAW by visiting our website, Facebook, and Twitter.

Bern Johnson
Executive Director

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