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Title: Ten years after Chernobyl

Abstract

As was amply demonstrated during the EU/IAEA/WHO Summing-up-Conference in Vienna, Austria, April 8-12, 1996, the radiological consequences of the Chernobyl accident were, fortunately, not as serious as frequently presented in the media: 28 people died from acute radiation syndrome in 1986, 14 more of possibly radiation-related causes since. Of the <1000 thyroid cancers in children, 90 to 95% are curable. There have so far been no other demonstrable increases in the former Soviet Union, as well as in Western Europe, of leukemias, solid cancers, or genetic defects, nor are any to be expected in the future. Even among the {open_quotes}liquidators{close_quotes} with doses {approximately}100 mSv, of the {approximately}150 additional expected leukemias during the 10 yr after the accident, none have been observed. The economical, social, and political consequences, however, both in the former Soviet Union and in Western Europe, have been very substantial. Whole countries developed an hysterical `radiation sickness.` As A. Merkel, the German Minister of Environment and Reactor Safety, who chaired the conference, pointed out, `the radiation sensitivity of societies far exceeds that of individuals.` It is obvious that important groups in Ukraine, Belaurus, and Russia try to blame a large fraction of all economic, social, and health problemsmore » during the last decade, which are substantial ({approx} 6 yr less life expectancy, twice the homicides and traffic deaths, increased alcoholism, and so forth), on radiation of the Chernobyl accident in an effort to attract more support. Western scientists refute such claims but admit large non-radiation-related problems caused by the accident.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. DIN, Berlin (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
426572
Report Number(s):
CONF-961103-
Journal ID: TANSAO; ISSN 0003-018X; TRN: 96:006307-0304
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Transactions of the American Nuclear Society; Journal Volume: 75; Conference: Winter meeting of the American Nuclear Society (ANS) and the European Nuclear Society (ENS), Washington, DC (United States), 10-14 Nov 1996; Other Information: PBD: 1996
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
56 BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE, APPLIED STUDIES; 57 HEALTH AND SAFETY; RADIATION PROTECTION; COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS; CHERNOBYLSK-4 REACTOR; REACTOR ACCIDENTS; ECONOMIC IMPACT; SOCIAL IMPACT; POLITICAL ASPECTS

Citation Formats

Becker, K. Ten years after Chernobyl. United States: N. p., 1996. Web.
Becker, K. Ten years after Chernobyl. United States.
Becker, K. 1996. "Ten years after Chernobyl". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_426572,
title = {Ten years after Chernobyl},
author = {Becker, K.},
abstractNote = {As was amply demonstrated during the EU/IAEA/WHO Summing-up-Conference in Vienna, Austria, April 8-12, 1996, the radiological consequences of the Chernobyl accident were, fortunately, not as serious as frequently presented in the media: 28 people died from acute radiation syndrome in 1986, 14 more of possibly radiation-related causes since. Of the <1000 thyroid cancers in children, 90 to 95% are curable. There have so far been no other demonstrable increases in the former Soviet Union, as well as in Western Europe, of leukemias, solid cancers, or genetic defects, nor are any to be expected in the future. Even among the {open_quotes}liquidators{close_quotes} with doses {approximately}100 mSv, of the {approximately}150 additional expected leukemias during the 10 yr after the accident, none have been observed. The economical, social, and political consequences, however, both in the former Soviet Union and in Western Europe, have been very substantial. Whole countries developed an hysterical `radiation sickness.` As A. Merkel, the German Minister of Environment and Reactor Safety, who chaired the conference, pointed out, `the radiation sensitivity of societies far exceeds that of individuals.` It is obvious that important groups in Ukraine, Belaurus, and Russia try to blame a large fraction of all economic, social, and health problems during the last decade, which are substantial ({approx} 6 yr less life expectancy, twice the homicides and traffic deaths, increased alcoholism, and so forth), on radiation of the Chernobyl accident in an effort to attract more support. Western scientists refute such claims but admit large non-radiation-related problems caused by the accident.},
doi = {},
journal = {Transactions of the American Nuclear Society},
number = ,
volume = 75,
place = {United States},
year = 1996,
month =
}
  • Studies after the Chernobyl Disaster revealed an increased level of chromosome aberrations in cultured lymphocytes of the inhabitants of the radiation-polluted regions. This work estimates the resolution capacity of a method of accounting for chromosomal aberrations in human lymphocyte culture. The results reveal population effects of low-dose chronic irradiation by radioactive sediments three and more years after the Chernobyl Disaster. 13 refs., 2 tabs.
  • This article describes results of the radiation environmental monitoring performed in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (ChEZ) during the period following the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant accident. This article presents a brief overview of five comprehensive reports generated under Contract No. DE-AC09-96SR18500 (Washington Savannah River Company LLC, Subcontract No. AC55559N, SOW No. ON8778) and summarizes characteristics of the ChEZ and its post-accident status and the history of development of the radiation monitoring research in the ChEZ is described. This article addresses characteristics of the radiation monitoring in the ChEZ, its major goals and objectives, and changes of these goals andmore » objectives in the course of time, depending on the tasks associated with the phase of mitigation of the ChNPP accident consequences. The results of the radiation monitoring in the ChEZ during the last 25 years are also provided.« less
  • Radioactive waste management is an important component of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant accident mitigation and remediation activities of the so-called Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. This article describes the localization and characteristics of the radioactive waste present in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and summarizes the pathways and strategy for handling the radioactive waste related problems in Ukraine and the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, and in particular, the pathways and strategies stipulated by the National Radioactive Waste Management Program. The brief overview of the radioactive waste issues in the ChEZ presented in this article demonstrates that management of radioactive waste resulting from amore » beyond-designbasis accident at a nuclear power plant becomes the most challenging and the costliest effort during the mitigation and remediation activities. The costs of these activities are so high that the provision of radioactive waste final disposal facilities compliant with existing radiation safety requirements becomes an intolerable burden for the current generation of a single country, Ukraine. The nuclear accident at the Fukushima-1 NPP strongly indicates that accidents at nuclear sites may occur in any, even in a most technologically advanced country, and the Chernobyl experience shows that the scope of the radioactive waste management activities associated with the mitigation of such accidents may exceed the capabilities of a single country. Development of a special international program for broad international cooperation in accident related radioactive waste management activities is required to handle these issues. It would also be reasonable to consider establishment of a dedicated international fund for mitigation of accidents at nuclear sites, specifically, for handling radioactive waste problems in the ChEZ. The experience of handling Chernobyl radioactive waste management issues, including large volumes of radioactive soils and complex structures of fuel containing materials can be fairly useful for the entire world's nuclear community and can help make nuclear energy safer.« less
  • A decade ago reactor number 4 at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded, showering much of eastern Europe with radioactive debris. The Ukranian ambassador to the U.S., who was one of the medical researchers in Kiev and one of the first physicians to treat wounded, looks at the medical aftermath of the accident. He also contemplates what additional technological and political measures need to be taken to contain the lasting danger. 4 refs.
  • A selected group of about 20 male researchers at the NIRS that reside in Chiba, Japan, was measured for total body content of radiocesium and {sup 40}K every 3 mo from February 1986 to May 1991. A whole-body counter at the NIRS was used to measure their radioactivity in a scanning mode of 5 cm min{sup {minus}1} in a shielded iron room with walls 20 cm in thickness. A maximum radiocesium level of 59 Bq was observed in May 1987. The annual change in the body burden decreased with an apparent half-time of 1.8 y after May 1987. The periodmore » of five years was sufficient to eliminate the effects of the accident in this group. Even in the most, contaminated period, the dose from radiocesium was below 2 {mu}Sv y{sup {minus}1}. The cumulative dose for 5 y was estimated to be 5.6 {mu}Sv, which is nearly equal to the total dose to the Japanese people caused by the artificial radionuclide fallout for the first year following the accident. It is much smaller than the committed dose of 82 {mu}Sv for internally deposited {sup 137}Cs resulting from nuclear explosions in 1961 and 1962 and the annual dose of 170 {mu}Sv from internal {sup 40}K. No detectable health risk was expected for the present group. 37 refs., 3 figs., 4 tabs.« less