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Title: A Personal Experience Reducing Radiation Exposures: Protecting Family in Kiev during the First Two Weeks after Chernobyl

Abstract

The Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident occurred in 1986. The plume from the explosions and fires was highly radioactive and resulted in very high exposure levels in the surrounding regions. This paper describes how the people in Kiev, Ukraine, a city 90 miles (120 km) south of Chernobyl, and in particular one individual in that city, Professor Vitaly Eremenko, became aware of the threat before the official announcement and the steps he took to mitigate potential impacts to his immediate family. The combination of being informed and using available resources led to greatly reduced consequences for his family and, in particular, his newborn granddaughter. He notes how quickly word of some aspects of the hazard spread in the city and how other aspects appear to not have been understood. Although these events are being recalled as the 20th anniversary of the terrible event approaches, the lessons are still pertinent today. Threats of possible terrorist use of radiation dispersal devices makes knowledge of effective individual actions for self-protection from radiation exposures a topic of current interest.

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
890720
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-48644
TRN: US0604675
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Health Physics, 91(8) (Suppl 1):S39-S46
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; 22 GENERAL STUDIES OF NUCLEAR REACTORS; 61 RADIATION PROTECTION AND DOSIMETRY; REACTOR ACCIDENTS; PLUMES; IONIZING RADIATIONS; UKRAINE; CHERNOBYLSK-4 REACTOR; RADIATION PROTECTION; Chernobyl; nuclear reactor accidents; applied radiation protection; contamination control; applied radiation measurements; emergency response; protecting the public; sheltering

Citation Formats

Eremenko, Vitaly A., and Droppo, James G. A Personal Experience Reducing Radiation Exposures: Protecting Family in Kiev during the First Two Weeks after Chernobyl. United States: N. p., 2006. Web. doi:10.1097/01.HP.0000226143.54179.dd.
Eremenko, Vitaly A., & Droppo, James G. A Personal Experience Reducing Radiation Exposures: Protecting Family in Kiev during the First Two Weeks after Chernobyl. United States. doi:10.1097/01.HP.0000226143.54179.dd.
Eremenko, Vitaly A., and Droppo, James G. Tue . "A Personal Experience Reducing Radiation Exposures: Protecting Family in Kiev during the First Two Weeks after Chernobyl". United States. doi:10.1097/01.HP.0000226143.54179.dd.
@article{osti_890720,
title = {A Personal Experience Reducing Radiation Exposures: Protecting Family in Kiev during the First Two Weeks after Chernobyl},
author = {Eremenko, Vitaly A. and Droppo, James G.},
abstractNote = {The Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident occurred in 1986. The plume from the explosions and fires was highly radioactive and resulted in very high exposure levels in the surrounding regions. This paper describes how the people in Kiev, Ukraine, a city 90 miles (120 km) south of Chernobyl, and in particular one individual in that city, Professor Vitaly Eremenko, became aware of the threat before the official announcement and the steps he took to mitigate potential impacts to his immediate family. The combination of being informed and using available resources led to greatly reduced consequences for his family and, in particular, his newborn granddaughter. He notes how quickly word of some aspects of the hazard spread in the city and how other aspects appear to not have been understood. Although these events are being recalled as the 20th anniversary of the terrible event approaches, the lessons are still pertinent today. Threats of possible terrorist use of radiation dispersal devices makes knowledge of effective individual actions for self-protection from radiation exposures a topic of current interest.},
doi = {10.1097/01.HP.0000226143.54179.dd},
journal = {Health Physics, 91(8) (Suppl 1):S39-S46},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Aug 01 00:00:00 EDT 2006},
month = {Tue Aug 01 00:00:00 EDT 2006}
}
  • Due to the increasing amount of sulfurous fuels combusted, more and more sulfur is being emitted into the air. The sulfur is primarily converted to SO/sub 2/ during combustion but will form H/sub 2/SO/sub 4/ in the air (Brosset, 1973). This has led to a decreased pH of rainwater, and thus to a decreased pH in lakes and rivers (Oden and Ahl, 1970). There are reports of strongly acidified lakes with a complete lack of fish (Almer, 1972; Vallin, 1952). At somewhat higher pH values there is still a complete lack of certain species, while other species show a lackmore » of young individuals (Almer, 1972). This would indicate that the spawning, the fertilization, and/or the embryonic development are most affected by the high hydrogen ion concentration. Spawning and fertilized eggs have been observed even in acidified lakes. However, the eggs may not undergo development after fertilization at those low pH values. In fact, developing eggs of zebra fish (Brachydanio rerio ham.-Buch.) and fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas Rafinesque) have been shown to be affected by low pH values (Johansson et al., 1973; Mount, 1973). 9 references, 4 figures, 4 tables.« less
  • A complete unilateral lesion of the nigrostriatal pathway by 6-hydroxydopamine injection in the substantia nigra induced a drastic increase in striatal dopaminergic binding sites labelled by /sup 3/H-spiperone, 30 days after the lesion. This increase (75% over controls) was time restricted: it was only 39% and 34% over control values at respectively 25 and 35 days after the lesion. Furthermore, 45 days after the destruction of the substantia nigra, the density of labelled sites returned close to the homolateral control values, but remained higher than the contralateral ones, according to the right-left difference found in control animals. Quite later (2more » years after the lesion), there was a decrease in the density of labelled sites as compared to the respective homolateral control levels. However, such binding sites tend to remain higher in the striatum of the lesioned side than in the striatum of the intact one, although such a difference was not statistically significant, being very close the right-left asymmetry observed in control animals. Contrary to previous results with /sup 3/H-Haloperidol, the apparent dissociation constant did not vary significantly, whatever the considered delay after the lesion. These results are discussed in the light of previous results obtained by others and by the authors. 28 references, 3 figures, 1 table.« less
  • To determine the prevalence and clinical significance of increased lung /sup 201/Tl uptake during submaximal exercise myocardial scintigraphy performed 2 weeks after acute myocardial infarction, 61 patients underwent submaximal exercise testing (target heart rate, 120 beats/min), multigated blood pool imaging at rest and coronary angiography before hospital discharge. Thallium lung uptake on the initial anterior projection image was graded qualitatively by comparing the intensity of /sup 201/Tl activity in the lungs with that in the mediastinum. In 39 patients (64 percent), it was normal (equal to mediastinal activity) and in 22 (36 percent), it was increased (greater than mediastinal activity).more » Compared with patients with normal lung uptake, those with increased uptake had a greater prevalence of prior infarction (13 versus 36 percent, probability (p) less than 0.05), less global cardiac reserve as assessed by the four level New York Heart Association classification (p less than 0.05), more advanced Killip class in the coronary care unit (p less than 0.05), a higher Norris coronary prognostic index (2.6 +/- 1.9 versus 4.6 +/- 2.3 (mean +/- standard deviation), p less than 0.01), failure to achieve the target heart rate because of dyspnea, fatigue or angina (36 versus 86 percent, p less than 0.01), a greater prevalence of exercise-induced S-T segment depression (18 versus 45 percent, p less than 0.05), a greater number of anterior /sup 201/Tl myocardial defects (p less than 0.05); a lower radionuclide ejection fraction at rest (50.4 +/- 6.1 versus 39.6 +/- 9.3 percent, p less than 0.01) and a greater number of asynergic left ventricular segments (p less than 0.05). Thus, the occurrence of increased lung /sup 201/Tl uptake during submaximal exercise scintigraphy in the early postinfarction period is frequent and appears to be a marker of severe and functionally more important coronary artery disease associated with left ventricular dysfunction.« less
  • Purpose: To evaluate 2-dimensional strain imaging (SI) for the detection of subclinical myocardial dysfunction during and after radiation therapy (RT). Methods and Materials: Forty women with left-sided breast cancer, undergoing only adjuvant RT to the left chest, were prospectively recruited. Standard echocardiography and SI were performed at baseline, during RT, and 6 weeks after RT. Strain (S) and strain rate (Sr) parameters were measured in the longitudinal, circumferential, and radial planes. Correlation of change in global longitudinal strain (GLS % and Δ change) and the volume of heart receiving 30 Gy (V30) and mean heart dose (MHD) were examined. Results: Leftmore » ventricular ejection fraction was unchanged; however, longitudinal systolic S and Sr and radial S were significantly reduced during RT and remained reduced at 6 weeks after treatment [longitudinal S (%) −20.44 ± 2.66 baseline vs −18.60 ± 2.70* during RT vs −18.34 ± 2.86* at 6 weeks after RT; longitudinal Sr (s{sup −1}) −1.19 ± 0.21 vs −1.06 ± 0.18* vs −1.06 ± 0.16*; radial S (%) 56.66 ± 18.57 vs 46.93 ± 14.56* vs 49.22 ± 15.81*; *P<.05 vs baseline]. Diastolic Sr were only reduced 6 weeks after RT [longitudinal E Sr (s{sup −1}) 1.47 ± 0.32 vs 1.29 ± 0.27*; longitudinal A Sr (s{sup −1}) 1.19 ± 0.31 vs 1.03 ± 0.24*; *P<.05 vs baseline], whereas circumferential strain was preserved throughout. A modest correlation between S and Sr and V30 and MHD was observed (GLS Δ change and V30 ρ = 0.314, P=.05; GLS % change and V30 ρ = 0.288, P=.076; GLS Δ change and MHD ρ = 0.348, P=.03; GLS % change and MHD ρ = 0.346, P=.031). Conclusions: Subclinical myocardial dysfunction was detected by 2-dimensional SI during RT, with changes persisting 6 weeks after treatment, though long-term effects remain unknown. Additionally, a modest correlation between strain reduction and radiation dose was observed.« less