The Laureates of the Nuclear-Free Future Award 2020

The laureates of the Nuclear-Free Future Award 2020 have been announced. They come from Canada/Ireland, Russia and the USA. An international jury of activists and scientists chose Fedor Maryasov and Andrey Talevlin, Russia, Felice and Jack Cohen-Joppa, USA, and Ray Acheson, Canada/Ireland, in the three categories Resistance, Education, Solution. Deb Haaland, USA was awarded an honorary prize.

Munich. Since 1998, the Nuclear Free Future Award has been honoring people around the world who are engaged in working for the end of the nuclear age and who show ways to end both the military and civil use of nuclear energy.

An international jury of activists and scientists selected the winners of the Nuclear Free Future Award 2020 in the three categories resistance, education and solution – each prize is endowed with 5000 US dollars:

Category Resistance: Fedor Maryasov and Andrey Talevlin, Russia

It takes great courage to openly oppose the state and the state-owned company Rosatom, which coordinates all nuclear power activities in Russia. Journalist Fedor Maryasov and lawyer Andrey Talevlin are among those who dare to do so.

Fedor Maryasov has published over a hundred investigative articles on the nuclear reality in Russia and made public the secret plans of the state-owned nuclear company Rosatom to build an underground repository for nuclear waste in Zheleznogorsk, a closed nuclear city in Siberia. In 2013 he tried to prevent the plan with a petition signed by 146,000 people. His documentary film "Digging Our Own Grave" exposes Rosatom's questionable business practices. The result: The secret service puts him under pressure, the Federal Security Service searches his apartment and confiscates his computer, and the Russian state incriminates him for "extremism".

Andrey Talevlin studied law in Chelyabinsk and is now an associate professor of ecological, land and nuclear law at Chelyabinsk University. He represented Russian NGOs in court on several occasions. In 2002, on his initiative, the Russian Supreme Court revoked the import permit for 370 tons of nuclear waste from the Hungarian nuclear power plant Pak. After an international campaign he co-initiated, the German government abandoned the plan to send irradiated nuclear fuel from a research reactor to the reprocessing plant in Mayak, in 2010. This year, he was one of the initiators of an open letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Vladimir Putin: 47 NGOs from Russia, Germany and the Netherlands are calling for a stop to the export of depleted uranium from the Urenco uranium enrichment plant to Russia's closed nuclear cities. The Russian state power has already classified the quarrelsome lawyer as a "foreign agent" in 2015.

Category Education: Felice and Jack Cohen-Joppa, USA

There are people who risk everything to protest against nuclear power and nuclear weapons. Many are put on trial and thrown into prison for this. And then there are people who support the anti-nuclear opponents. Two people who have been active in this way for a lifetime are Felice and Jack Cohen Joppa.

Since 1980 the two have been reporting extensively on arrests for civil disobedience to nuclear power, nuclear weapons, uranium mining and nuclear testing in the United States and throughout the world through their publishing and charity organization "The Nuclear Resister".

They became active in the U.S. anti-nuclear movement in the 1970s. Jack was arrested during protests and visited other protesters in jail. At that time, he founded the "National No Nukes Prison Support Collective", the precursor of: "The Nuclear Resister". To date, Felice and Jack Cohen-Joppa have documented more than 100,000 anti-nuclear and anti-war arrests.

Category Solutions: Ray Acheson, RCW/WILPF, USA

The US-American Ray Acheson is considered the voice of the young generation in international anti-nuclear policy. Since 2005, she has been working on intergovernmental disarmament processes and, from an anti-militaristic-feminist perspective, has been involved in a number of disarmament and arms control projects. A focus of her engagement and research is on war economy and the patriarchal and racist structures of war and armed violence. As director of Reaching Critical Will (RCW), the disarmament program of the oldest women's peace organization in the world, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), she connects civil society organizations and strengthens them through network coordination. Ray Acheson is a member of several steering groups of important coalitions, including the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

One of the most visible results of their engagement is the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which emphasizes the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, especially on women and girls.

Special Recognition: Deb Haaland, USA

Deb Haaland was one of the first Native American deputies elected to the US Congress in 2018. Whether it is climate change or Covid 19, social exploitation or the circumcision of the National Monument Bears Ears in Utah – the voice of Democrat Deb Haaland is well heard in Washington. She is currently one of the campaigners for an extension of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) of 2019: the financial compensation is to include uranium miners after 1971, as well as the Trinity Downwinders. Trinity was the world's first nuclear weapon test in 1945 – on the land of the Mescalero Apache. To this day, the descendants of the contaminated victims are waiting for compensation.

Cooperation partners are Umweltstiftung Greenpeace, IPPNW Germany and Beyond Nuclear.

For contacts and interviews with the award winners::

Sascha Hach,

Horst Hamm, +49/157 715 43 231,

Fedor Maryasow

Fedor Maryasov and Andrey Talevlin

Felice and Jack Cohen-Joppa

Ray Acheson

Deb Haaland

Go back