by T. Fronte
|Blow-up: Fukushima and Usain Bolt at the AREVA Meeting|
|T. Fronte, 28 th July 2011|
I was on my way home in a commuter train when through the window I noticed a poster bearing an athlete with a protection mask ; the train was too fast and I couldn't catch what this was about . Few minutes later the train slowed-down in a station where more posters of the same kind were displayed along the platforms . I prepared my camera and when the train stopped I was able to snap shot one of this unusual poster. Back home I was taken up by the daily routine and I lost track of the picture.
Enlargements of the picture of the poster show that its original purpose
was to advertise an athletics meet at the national Stade de France,
sponsored by AREVA . But the posters were daubed with a strip saying FUKUSHIMA
instead of AREVA ; in addition, a patch like a protective mask almost
covered the face of the athlete in the stint of the guest star ; some
other athletes were smiling or jumping around ; the name of most of them
was explicitly printed : local runner Christophe Lemaître, Olympic
javelin champion from the Czech Republic Barbara Spotakova, the sublime
Miriam Soumaré, Renaud Lavillenie... The name of the guest star
was Usain Bolt.
The posters as they were before being vandalised, deserve a serious blame: how can athletes share the top billing with AREVA , a leading nuclear operator, while at the same time a nuclear disaster forces the evacuation of tens of thousand people at Fukushima ? Can anything be celebrated anytime anywhere, regardless of an appalling train of events ?
Actually there is little or nothing to celebrate with nuclear power ;
serious risks would rather suggest deep concern and firm commitment .
After all, it’s not clear how a world-class champion as Usain Bolt
, the “fastest man on earth”, can help when it comes to nuclear
challenges or safety requirements
The goal of a nuclear sponsor seem more in line with the need to lull people about the nuclear risks . In France where a large amount – three quarters – of the electric supply is generated by nuclear power, it happens that safety requirements are violated ; as the rule of law is not guaranteed , both the Convention for Nuclear Safety (CNS Vienna -1994) or the Human rights are easily ignored . Sports may help to turn away the public attention from embarrassing nuclear safety gaps .
The answer could come with the next episode of the AREVA Meeting, the
only world-class athletics meet sponsored by a leading nuclear operator.