GB No. 3, winter 1990/91


The referendum on construction of the nuclear power station "Żarnowiec" was conducted in the County (administrative region - "voivodship") of Gdańsk on the 27th May 1990.

The campaign against the construction has lasted for about two years already. The protesters campaigned in several ways. Weekly demonstrations were organized on fixed days for almost a whole year. Many articles were published by the press. Some activists blocked the Container Terminal at the Gdynia Harbor when parts of the reactor arrived there. The young protesters were beaten up by a group of the building site site at Żarnowiec. Eventually a group of people began a termless hunger strike. After forty four days, on the 20th of January, they called it off on the condition that the local referendum would be conducted.

The managers of Żarnowiec power plant under construction, and the group of their supporters started to raise difficulties in front of the referendum since they got frightened by possible results of it. The national Government announced that the results of the referendum would not be obligatory on its final decision on the nuclear power policy. Furthermore, the permission to conduct the referendum was not granted until six days before the date previously fixed for countrywide elections of local governments. Because of economic reasons, the referendum took place at the same time. Within six days the organizers of referendum erected about 640 polls (referendum commissions), of 3 - 6 persons each and the referendum was successfully conducted. This whole action was organized and sponsored by the partners of referendum agreement - Citizen Committees of "Solidarność" in the County of Gdańsk, Regional Board of Trade Union of "Solidarność", "Ecological Forum of Gdańsk" (unformal network of environmental organizations and movements working in the Gdańsk area), "Association of Kaszubians and Pomeranians" (a cultural society of local community) and Catholic Intelligentsia Clubs - to name but a few. Ecologists from Sweden and Denmark gave also their assistance.

The County Commission of Referendum at the meeting held in Gdańsk on May 28, 1990 certified the following:

  1. The total number of votes cast were 387 843.
  2. 53 513 people (13,8%) voted for the construction of nuclear power plant in Żarnowiec.

Mr. Lech Wałęsa voted against the construction.

On the 27th the June 1990 the newly elected local Selfgoverning Parliament of the County of Gdańsk have adopted a law that state as follows:

  1. The results of the referendum on continuation of the construction of Nuclear Power Station in Żarnowiec are considered to be the clear disagreement of the construction of this plant.
  2. The Government of the Republic of Poland is called to take the decision about the final abandon of the cons truction of nuclear power plant in Żarnowiec.

Since the organizers of referen dum are well aware that its results are not obligatory from the Governments' point of view, they declared to continue a campaign not only against the construction of nuclear power plants but also a campaign for the sensible energy policy for the whole country.

(based on the reports by M.A.E W.Dobrowolski and J.Jaskowski PhD - from Ecological Forum of Gdańsk)

Grzegorz Peszko

In September the Government finally decided to suppress the Zarnowiec n.p.s. Poland won't develop the nucle- ar power industry at least till 2000.
GB No. 3, winter 1990/91 | Contents