CORE’s Janine Allis-Smith and Martin Forwood who have campaigned on Sellafield commercial operations since the 1980’s have been notified that they have won the international Nuclear Free Future Award (NFFA) for 2017 under the Education category. Cited for their three decades of work ‘unmasking ‘ and disseminating information on operations at the West Cumbrian site to a world-wide audience – and with CORE described as ‘an indispensable pillar of the British anti-nuclear movement’ – the award which carries a cash endowment of $10,000 will be made in Basel, Switzerland in September.
Commenting on the unexpected award the campaigners said today: ‘We are honoured to have received NFFA’s Education Award for 2017 and humbled to be joining the list of diverse and distinguished winners of the past. Since the 1980’s when Sellafield was preparing to double its commercial reprocessing activities, we have focused not only on acting locally but also being the ‘eyes and ears’ for the many interested parties world-wide on Sellafield and its many detriments which include site accidents, environmental contamination, health risks, plutonium stockpiles and nuclear transports.
With decades of uniquely difficult decommissioning yet to come, and with plans for new-build at Moorside, we still have much to do and will face the challenges with the same determination that has seen us through the many highs and lows experienced over the last thirty years in our campaign against an industry we believe still has much to answer for’.
Presented since 1998 for the individual categories of Resistance, Education and Solutions, the annual awards are made by the Munich-based Nuclear Free Future Foundation whose origins are rooted in global opposition to uranium mining (‘Leave it in the Earth’) and who now supports individuals and initiatives in their ongoing civil and military anti-nuclear work.
The 2017 award for Resistance has gone to Almoustapha Alhacen from Niger for his work against his country’s uranium mining and the French Company Areva by whom he was sacked after exposing the plight of sick and dying fellow uranium miners. The 2017 Solutions award has been made to Japan’s Dr Hirochimi Umebayashi who left his Tokyo University teaching post to work on creating a nuclear weapons free zone in North East Asia. Honorary Special Recognition awards for the year have also been made to German and Swiss movements and individuals.
Formed in 1980 as the Barrow Action Group to oppose the import of foreign spent fuel through the local docks en-route to Sellafield for reprocessing, the campaign remit of CORE [Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment] has widened over the years to cover all aspects of site operations with an emphasis on co-operative work with groups in Sellafield’s customer countries. Janine and Martin joined CORE as volunteers in the mid 1980’s and, taking over as health campaigner and campaign coordinator respectively in 1989, have carried on the vital work begun in those difficult early years by those who founded the group. Such work has been possible only with the dedicated support of many individuals and groups over the years.