skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Effects of the Chernobyl accident on animal husbandry and production, from a Swedish perspective

Abstract

About 20% of the Swedish land area was considerably contaminated by radionuclides released by the nuclear accident at Chernobyl, Ukraine, in April 1986. However, less than 10% of the arable land was contaminated. The heavy contamination was closely correlated with the amount of rain received during the first days of May 1986. Immediate restrictions on grazing limited the early uptake of contaminants in animal products. Changes in management of animals, especially sheep, goats, and reindeer in the contaminated areas have effectively reduced the transfer of radionuclides to human beings. One important factor was the possibility of obtaining uncontaminated feeds from unaffected parts of the country. The direct costs during the first 2 years after the accident were approximately +10 million for analyses and +90 million for compensation to farmers for condemned products (milk, mutton, and reindeer meat) and reimbursement for purchase of uncontaminated feeds from other parts of the country.

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala
OSTI Identifier:
5986132
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 5986132
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc.; (United States); Journal Volume: 194:7
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
63 RADIATION, THERMAL, AND OTHER ENVIRON. POLLUTANT EFFECTS ON LIVING ORGS. AND BIOL. MAT.; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; DOMESTIC ANIMALS; CONTAMINATION; FOOD CHAINS; SOILS; CHERNOBYLSK-4 REACTOR; REACTOR ACCIDENTS; SWEDEN; UKRAINIAN SSR; ACCIDENTS; ASIA; EASTERN EUROPE; ENRICHED URANIUM REACTORS; EUROPE; GRAPHITE MODERATED REACTORS; LWGR TYPE REACTORS; POWER REACTORS; REACTORS; SCANDINAVIA; THERMAL REACTORS; USSR; WATER COOLED REACTORS; WESTERN EUROPE 560162* -- Radionuclide Effects, Kinetics, & Toxicology-- Animals, Plants, Microorganisms, & Cells; 510300 -- Environment, Terrestrial-- Radioactive Materials Monitoring & Transport-- (-1989)

Citation Formats

Jones, B.E. Effects of the Chernobyl accident on animal husbandry and production, from a Swedish perspective. United States: N. p., 1989. Web.
Jones, B.E. Effects of the Chernobyl accident on animal husbandry and production, from a Swedish perspective. United States.
Jones, B.E. Sat . "Effects of the Chernobyl accident on animal husbandry and production, from a Swedish perspective". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_5986132,
title = {Effects of the Chernobyl accident on animal husbandry and production, from a Swedish perspective},
author = {Jones, B.E.},
abstractNote = {About 20% of the Swedish land area was considerably contaminated by radionuclides released by the nuclear accident at Chernobyl, Ukraine, in April 1986. However, less than 10% of the arable land was contaminated. The heavy contamination was closely correlated with the amount of rain received during the first days of May 1986. Immediate restrictions on grazing limited the early uptake of contaminants in animal products. Changes in management of animals, especially sheep, goats, and reindeer in the contaminated areas have effectively reduced the transfer of radionuclides to human beings. One important factor was the possibility of obtaining uncontaminated feeds from unaffected parts of the country. The direct costs during the first 2 years after the accident were approximately +10 million for analyses and +90 million for compensation to farmers for condemned products (milk, mutton, and reindeer meat) and reimbursement for purchase of uncontaminated feeds from other parts of the country.},
doi = {},
journal = {J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc.; (United States)},
number = ,
volume = 194:7,
place = {United States},
year = {Sat Apr 01 00:00:00 EST 1989},
month = {Sat Apr 01 00:00:00 EST 1989}
}
  • Nine years after the reactor accident in Chernobyl contamination by radiocesium is still a significant problem in sheep and reindeer production in Norway. To reduce the impact of the accident, effective countermeasures had to be developed and implemented. The levels of radiocesium in meat were reduced by a combination of countermeasures such a special feeding, use of cesium binders (bentonite and Prussian blue), and changing of slaughtering time. The countermeasures were labor intensive and expensive. Costs per averted dose per person-Sv were calculated to range from NOK 1,000 to 100,000 (7 NOK = $1 U.S.), with the use of cesiummore » binders being the least expensive and condemnation of meat the most costly. Dietary advise, which did not include any compensation costs, had a cost of NOK 40 per person-Sv. Apart form the rejection of meat in 1986, countermeasures were deemed to be justified on a cost-benefit basis (less than NOK 600,000 per person-Sv). 26 refs., 1 fig., 4 tabs.« less
  • A small number of animal thyroids from Bad Hall, Austria; Ulm, Germany; and Steinkjer, Norway had {sup 131}I (half-life 8.06 d) measured between 21 and 72 d following the nuclear accident at Chernobyl on 26 April 1986. Nine years later {sup 129}I (half-life 1.57 x 10{sup 7} y) fission product and natural {sup 127}I were measured in the same thyroids. The mass ratios, {sup 129}I/{sup 131}I were calculated to the date of the Chernobyl accident and they ranged between 13 and 71. These ratios are compared to the expected ratios within an operating nuclear reactor during 2 y of operation,more » where the {sup 129}I/{sup 131}I{sup -1} ratio never exceeded 30. The observed ratio of {sup 129}I to natural {sup 127}I in thyroids ranged from 5 to 200 times the ratio before the accident, except that the Norwegian thyroids had {sup 129}I/{sup 127}I ratios which were less than the ratios of pre-Chernobyl thyroids from Ulm. These studies show the {sup 129}I and {sup 131}I from the Chernobyl accident were accumulated with natural {sup 127}I in animal thyroids but the isotope ratios, calculated to the release date, had wide ranges. The {sup 131}I radioactive exposure might be estimated from a fission product mixture by measuring {sup 129}I in thyroids long after the exposure to {sup 131}I, but the results would probably show a wide range of possibilities. The determining variables should be evaluated. We know of no previous data regarding both {sup 131}I and {sup 129}I in thyroid glands during the first 3 mo after the Chernobyl accident. 16 refs., 1 fig., 2 tabs.« less
  • The radiation incident at Chernobyl, USSR, on April 26, 1986 was first detected in Sweden on April 29, when increased radioactivity was observed at a nuclear facility in that country. Subsequently, higher levels of radioactivity were observed in most of Eastern Europe and then in Western Europe. Increased radioactivity was eventually noted in the United States beginning about May 5. The three-day interval between the incident and its discovery outside the USSR caused great apprehension. This chain of events indicates the very important role for the nuclear medicine physician, the medical physicist and their colleagues. It is likely that thismore » medical specialty area is staffed by personnel who are best qualified to interpret these findings and to determine the necessary course of action both for patients and the general public. The nuclear medicine specialist can provide valuable input in estimating the radiation dose impact resulting from such an incident. This estimate may be accomplished either by combining measured activity levels with the physiological and physical factors involved; or by actual in vivo counting and quantitation of radioactivity in individuals exposed to radionuclides. From the measured activities in air, water and food, and assumed intakes for various age groups, doses can be estimated both for inhalation and ingestion of radionuclides. In vivo measurements of radionuclides can be performed with conventional instrumentation used routinely in nuclear medicine laboratories.« less
  • Assessments of public perceptions of the characteristics of a nuclear power plant accident and affective responses to its likelihood were conducted 5 months before and 1 month after the Chernobyl accident. Analyses of data from 69 residents of southwestern Washington showed significant test-retest correlations for only 10 of 18 variables--accident likelihood, three measures of impact characteristics, three measures of affective reactions, and hazard knowledge by governmental sources. Of these variables, only two had significant changes in mean ratings; frequency of thought and frequency of discussion about a nearby nuclear power plant both increased. While there were significant changes only formore » two personal consequences (expectations of cancer and genetic effects), both of these decreased. The results of this study indicate that more attention should be given to assessing the stability of risk perceptions over time. Moreover, the data demonstrate that experience with a major accident can actually decrease rather than increase perceptions of threat.« less