GB No. 1, autumn 1989
Żarnowiec. The pride of the late seven- ties' plans. It was to introduce our country to the exclusive group of the countries using the nuclear energy. The public discussions over the sense of this investment were interruoted by the events of one December night in 1981 when the martial law was introduced. There have been no discussion since then. Many investments were put off because of the shortage of the funds, only this one was started at full speed. The works - as the mass media then informed- were realized in compliance with plans and the building of the first energetic pulley should be soon finished. Later on suddenly nothing more was heard about the matter. What was the reason of it? Very simple. After seven years since the begining, the construction of the power plant was completed only in 15%. If the works are continnued at such a great rate the investment will be finished in 2030. Then it will be another technological skansen museum.
But perhaps it won't be?
The damage in Tchernobyl forced the people to change their views about the most environment friendly way of energy production, which was to be the nuclear energetics.
Soon after the catastrophe in Tchernobyl the members of the Freedom and Peace Movement (WiP) from Gdańsk organized the first street manifestation against Żarnowiec. One could see the symptoms of dissatisfaction caused by placing the nuclear power plant close to the aglomeration Gdańsk- Sopot- Gdynia, numbering over million of inhabitants. Moreover the people did not forget the damage in the Gdańsk Refinery which happened in 1984. At that time the rescue operation started 24 hours after the accident had taken place. Let's imagine 24 hours of delay in case of the nuclear power station.
At the begining of the curren year WiP iniciated the series of each-friday anti-Żarnowiec demonstrations in the Old Town in Gdańsk. Many miliciamen took part very actively in the first manifestations. To make the meetings more interesting the organizers decided to introduce the convention of happening, e.g. on March 31 the performance of Krzysztof Skiba from the Gallery of Maniacal Activities. In April during three following fridays milicia joint the happenings.
At the end of April the Antiatom Federation was founded by people representing different political views but all interested in protecting Poland from the nuclear technology. Especially the building in Żarnowiec meets with many protests. After all the inhabitants of the treble city of Gdańsk, Sopot and Gdynia (Trójmiasto), and not only them, know that there is a culminant-pump power station on the other side of the Żarnowiec Lake by which also the nuclear power station (NPS) is build. This is incompatible with international regulations - the deep tectonic movements can break dams and flood the NPS.
On April 28, 1989 the demonstration went to the Province Committee (of comunist party). When "Teacher" challanged all the advokates of nuclear energetics with use of any weapon like side-arms, ping-pong match, football etc. the organised team of blue advokates of nuclear energetics equipped with white sticks approached to us and tried to duel with us. The secretary of the Province Comittee protected us from beating in the meantime. We talked to him and demanded the access to mass media to inform why we are against the NPS in Żarnowiec.
In this place it is worth recollecting that this power station will be not only antiecological (the open cooling system which can create radioactive pollution and the increase in temperature in the lake of about 10C; the result of this increase will be the enormous change of microclimate) but also antieconomical. If the construction lasts 7 years the costs of the investment ammounts to 7 billion USD. Each year of delay means the increase in costs of about 15%. Nothwithstand- ing what the government's propaganda says the development of the nuclear energetics is not necessary. The GNP (Gross National Product) diminished 12% and the consumption of energy increased 26% from 1973 till 1984. In the same time the GNP remarkably increased in the developed countries (USA -31%, France -10%) and the consumption of energy decreased (USA -2%, France -4%).
On May 13, 1989 the members of the Freedom and Peace went to Żarnowiec accompanied by milicia. There were more miliciamen than us. We met managers and workers. The last ones let us know about bad sides of the building, e.g. about misterious disappearances of huge amounts of cement.
The public discussion of the antagonists and advokates of the nuclear energetics was held as a result of our previous demonstrations and meetings. The group of advokates consisted of the representatives of NPS in Żarnowiec. During the discussion the fact that this NPS has been build not only by specialized workers but also by prisoners was revealed. The representatives of NPS did not denied the rumour that there are the deposits of gas nearby the power station, which would be dangerous for it. Unfortunately this public discussions did not lead to any sollution.
Our Friday Actions were continued. During the last ones the signes on a petition were collected. This petition proposed a referendum showing if Poles really want nuclear energetics in their own country. Everybody should have an opportunity to express his opinion.
The mentioned above secretary of the Province Committee said that such a referendum had no sense, because it would only show if 90% or 95% of Polish society was against.
I would like to quote a piece from a report about nuclear energetics originating from 1984: "The only countries where the development of nuclear energetics follows plans are these in which market economy does not exist and where nuclear energetics is introduced by totalitaristic central government".
The information from the last moment:
The past expenditures have amounted to 120 billion zlotys (about 120 mld USD at official rate). The credits have been withdrawn and only 8 billion is left in the safe. That wil be enough only to secure the building of NPS in Zarnowiec.
The goverment is going to stop almost all building operations financed centrally (i.e. NPS in Zarnowiec). Zarnowiec for sale...