MUNICH, GERMANY – The five winners of the 2018 Nuclear-Free Future Award, representing often unsung grassroots activists and innovators who oppose all aspects of nuclear power and nuclear weapons, and who have found alternative paths forward, were announced today.
The Nuclear-Free Future Award offers three cash prizes and two honorary awards and is held annually in different cities around the world. The 2018 Award ceremony will take place on October 24, 2018 in Salzburg, Austria, and is celebrating its 20th year. The event, which is open to the public, also includes an international Think Nuclear-Free Symposium the next day, where the winners further expound on their work. Winners are voted on by an international jury panel.
Jeffrey Lee of Australia, Karipbek Kuyukov of Kazakhstan and Linda Walker of the United Kingdom, are the recipients of cash awards in the amount of $10,000 each in the categories of Resistance, Education and Solutions respectively.
The winners of the two honorary Lifetime Achievement Awards are French activist couple, Didier and Paulette Anger, long-time opponents of the French nuclear power and weapons sectors, and Peter Weish of Austria, the driving force behind his country’s nuclear power opposition movement.
Lee, the sole surviving member of his Djok aboriginal clan, single-handedly defended the land he inherited against uranium mining corporations, refusing huge monetary offers and instead choosing to preserve its precious ecology and cultural and spiritual significance. Eventually, Lee’s land became incorporated into Kakadu National Park, a World Heritage site, permanently protecting it from uranium mining.
Kuyukov was born without arms in a small village near the site of Soviet atomic testing, a victim of his parents’ exposure to radiation from the tests. He has become an international spokesperson for the victims of atomic testing, using his moving paintings — which he produces using his feet and mouth — and frequent speaking engagements to ensure that such atrocities are never repeated.
Walker established a relief program for children from Belarus, the most radiologically impacted country in the aftermath of the deadly Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident in Ukraine in 1986. She has provided “radiation vacations” for affected children who travel to Britain but also humanitarian aid in the form of ambulances, medical supplies and respite centers in Belarus itself.
The Angers have resisted the construction of the Flamanville nuclear reactors, exposed the deadly health impacts due to radioactive leaks and releases from the La Hague reprocessing site, and opposed the stationing of nuclear submarines at Cherbourg, among other campaigns. Over the years, they have become known as the “godparents” of the French anti-nuclear movement.
Similarly, Weish is the longtime leading light in the Austrian anti-nuclear movement in a country that today has no nuclear power plants, forbids nuclear waste transportation and was a leader in driving forward the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. For a time, Weish worked within the Institute for Radiation Protection, lending him specialized knowledge that made him a formidable force when arguing against nuclear energy.
The Nuclear-Free Future Award Foundation is headquartered in Munich, Germany. Beyond Nuclear is the foundation’s North American partner.