Inspired by a World Uranium Hearing held in Salzburg, Austria in 1991 that brought indigenous victims and leading scientists together to shine a light on the dark side of the nuclear business – the Nuclear-Free Future Awards will honor five “non-nuclear” champions. Visionaries from Africa where a continent says no to uranium mining; Russia, where a scientist goes against the nuclear mainstream; France, where one man passes a nuclear testing victim compensation law; and the US, where a noted Hollywood actor raises anti-nuclear consciousness, to the Lakota Nation, where a fifth-generation grandson of a famous Native American Chief closes a circle of history.
Front-line anti-nuclear visionaries from Russia, Africa, France, and the U.S. will receive this unique, world-leading award, and expose hidden truths about widespread human and environmental destruction caused by the nuclear industry. The free, public event will be held at New York City’s Cooper Union, September 30, 2010. Henry Red Cloud will be honored at the event with a special recognition award from the NFFA.
At its root, the use of nuclear energy violates human rights by devastating the lives and homelands of indigenous people around the world. Uranium mining and processing and its toxic waste products are, and have for decades been, the direct cause of radioactive contamination, and implicated in various cancers and other debilitating diseases; Chernobyl-style accidents aside. It’s an unsustainable and unconscionable situation when only 2.5% of the world’s total energy comes from nuclear sources. Yet few people understand or ever question where nuclear energy comes from. The nuclear industry began in the 1950s with no end-solutions, only promises that science would take care of everything. These promises have not been kept by industry or by nuclear-driven governments.
Co-founder Claus Biegert was recently interviewed online and says about the upcoming event: “We want and deserve a world that’s safe and sustainable. The heroic people we recognize this and each year with our Award are spreading the true story and leading the way to this much wiser future. It’s time to cut through the politics; take personal responsibility; and tell our leaders this nuclear state of affairs that sacrifices so many innocent lives and precious parts of our natural world is unacceptable.”
Since 1998, the Nuclear-Free Future Award (NFFA) has honored and helped facilitate the ongoing work of individuals and initiatives struggling to bring an end to the “Nuclear Age.” Based in Germany, NFFA provides vital recognition and financial and moral support for individuals, organizations and communities around the world working valiantly to achieve a peaceful, safe future free of nuclear energy, nuclear weapons and uranium mining.
An independent, non-profit group, the NFFA works closely with The Alternative Nobel Prize among others, and has been called by Berlin newspaper Taz “the most important anti-nuke award in the world.” Each year’s laureates, from grass-roots activists to enlightened politicians, are nominated by a distinguished advisory board and selected by an international jury.