Today marks the tenth anniversary of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima. On March 11, 2011, the Tohoku earthquake caused three reactor units to melt down. Radioactive material contaminated the air, soil, water and food in the regions surrounding the nuclear power plant.
More than 200,000 people had to leave their homes temporarily or permanently at that time. Countless animals left behind on farms starved to death. Whole swaths of land became uneconomical and millions of people in Japan were exposed to elevated levels of radiation. The multiple superhazard was rated by the Japanese Nuclear Regulatory Commission as a maximum level seven (=catastrophic accident) on the international scale for nuclear events.
Ten years later, people and nature in the region are still struggling with the consequences of the disaster. Currently, the Japanese government is trying to help nuclear energy make a comeback. For example, the opening games of the Summer Olympics are to be held in the contaminated Fukushima, which has provoked worldwide criticism.
"Nadezhda means hope for a better future".
In order to prevent environmental disasters like those in Fukushima or Chernobyl in the future, immediate action is urgently needed in the context of environmental protection. Green electricity-certified products provide the foundation for a successful energy turnaround. The label obligates energy providers to spend a fixed amount per kilowatt hour of electricity consumed on nature conservation or energy transition projects. In this way, it was possible, among other things, to support the non-profit development project Nadeshda with funds from electricity products with the Green Electricity label.
The Children's Aid Center in Belarus, founded in 1992, cares for more than 4,000 children from polluted regions in and around Chernobyl. Socio-educational, psychological and medical programs are designed to strengthen the health of the children and young people during their stay. "Nadezhda" translates as hope. Hope not only for the local children, but also for a better future with a sense of responsibility for people and nature," says Dr. Werner Neumann, board member of one of the founding associations Leben nach Tschernobyl e.V. and from 2005 to 2018 at Grüner Strom-Label e.V.
The Nadeshda Children's Aid Center relies on an integrated energy concept with the goal of an independent supply from 100 percent renewable energies. Among other things, with funding from the Green Electricity Certification, a 600 kW PV system was built in 2017, which covers the entire electricity needs of the children's center via green electricity. The proceeds from feeding the solar power into the Belarusian grid directly benefit the children. Likewise, thermal insulation, solar heat, two large wood heaters and an energy management system with consumption monitoring were installed there. "In this way, helping those affected by the nuclear disaster becomes a beacon for an energy turnaround without nuclear and fossil fuels - for the future of the children." Says Neumann. After the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, donations for the children in Japan were started. Now a similar recovery center is to be built in Japan.