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International Uranium Film Festival free online screenings September 13 – 19


The International Uranium Film Festival in Rio de Janeiro remembers „Brazil’s Chernobyl“, the worst radiological accident in Latin America that took place in September 1987 in the city of Goiânia in central Brazil. From September 13th to 19th, 2021, the festival will show online and free of charge eight documentaries and movies about this accident caused by the release of highly radioactive Cesium-137. An online meeting with one of the surviving victims, Odesson Alves Ferreira, three filmmakers from Goiânia and producer Laura Pires from Bahia marks the opening of this virtual film event that is supported by the Cinematheque of Rio’s Modern Art Museum (MAM Rio).

34 years ago, on September 13, 1987, two young men in search of junk entered the unsecured ruins of the Goiano Radiation Therapy Institute, a former cancer treatment clinic, in the city of Goiânia. They found an abandoned radiation therapy unit with a heavy lead capsule that contained 19 grams of cesium-137. Without knowing the risks of radioactivity or even the name “radioactive”, they took the capsule, dragged it home in a wheelbarrow and sold it to a scrap dealer six days later. The curious scrap dealer breaks open the capsule and discovers the white crystal powder that glows bluish in the dark, cesium-137 chloride – the death glow! It was not until September 29, when dozens of sick people with strange symptoms were already filling the hospitals in Goiânia, that the nuclear authorities became aware of the radioactive accident. At that time the cesium-137-crystals were already spread unknowingly widely over the quarter, hundreds of people became contaminated and thousands were unknowingly exposed to gamma rays. The authorities recognized officially only four deaths caused by radiation. But surveys by unions and surviver associations indicate at least 66 deaths and around 1,400 contaminated victims.

Just 19 grams of cesium-137 not only caused endless suffering to the victims, but also generated in Goiânia more than 6,000 tons of radioactive waste that is dangerous for over 200 years and is stored today in the radioactive waste repository of Abadia de Goiás, a suburb just a few miles outside of the City. Cesium-137 is a highly radioactive and unnatural nuclide with a half-life of 30 years. It is a fission product of uranium-235 and is created by the explosion of atomic bombs or in nuclear power plants as radioactive waste. Instead of storing it, cesium-137 was sold for decades around the globe to irradiate cancer cells. The radiation source of the Goiânia accident was thought to have been made in the U.S. at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. (Top photo: Street 57, Number 60 was in September 1987 one of the two most radioactive places in Goiânia city.) 


September 13th, Monday, 4pm / Opening Live:  To not forget  An online meeting with one of the victims of cesium-137, former long-standing president of the Association of Cesium Victims of Goiânia (AVCésio) Odesson Alves Ferreira (photo), the filmmakers Angelo Lima, Benedito Ferreira and Michael Valim from Goiânia and Bahian producer Laura Pires. Moderation: Márcia Gomes de Oliveira. (Live in Portuguese on is external)

September 13 -19 / 7 Days 24 Fours Free Online Screening  AMARELINHA (HOPSCOTCH)………………….

September 6, 2021 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, media, Resources -audiovicual

1 Comment »

  1. How many more of these accidental incidents, we have on this earth. Is anyone making the correlation to cancer?

    Comment by Werner Rhein | September 8, 2021 | Reply

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