The image above is of the memorial to the firefighters who arrived first on the scene of the Chernobyl disaster

Today, 26th April, is International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day

While we are remembering, we are also holding Ukraine in the light, and wondering why on earth the answer to violence seems to be more violence – why are governments committing more money to more weapons?

On this day in 1986, 36 years ago, an explosion occurred at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant which then spread a radioactive cloud over large parts of what was then the Soviet Union, now the territories of Belarus, Ukraine and the Russian Federation. Nearly 8.4 million people in the three countries were exposed to the radiation.

The Chernobyl power plant may be inoperative but it’s still a place of work – around 2,400 people work there including security forces, scientists, technicians, cooks, medics and other support staff. And it has been caught up in the invasion. Early in March, around 300 workers were trapped by invading Russian forces. Those forces left at the end of March/early April, amid reports that they had become ill from exposure to radiation. While the threat of a full scale disaster is reportedly low, it’s still not an entirely safe place to be. That’s the legacy of nuclear facilities.

With the needless, bullying invasion of Ukraine high in all our minds, and the sheer awfulness of war being played out again, we cannot fathom why the UK, US, and Australian governments plan to co-operate on research into hypersonic weapons and how to defend against them. Or why US nukes are being brought back into the UK… It’s like history is just repeating itself… How can anyone think this is a good, sensible idea? In the midst of a cost of living crisis, how is this value for money? Surely better to just not develop them…?

This seems like a perfect moment to listen to this version of Take The Toys from The Boys  recorded by our friends Becky Barry and T J Holmes. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could?

The glorious original track was written by Vi Subversa and recorded by Poison Girls.


If you want to *do something* you can –

  • Protest against Britain’s nuclear weapons programme with Aldermaston Women’s Peace Camp. They are on Facebook and they hold a peace camp at Aldermaston on the 2nd weekend of every month Friday – Saturday. This is at Paices Hill, RG7 4PW and you can call. 07946 676761 for more info.
  • Stop US nukes coming to Lakenheath – national day of action on Saturday May 21st