The population in the areas affected by the Chernobyl accident is experiencing serious worries about possible health effects. The level of concern appears to be increasing, and the psychological context of the accident should receive detailed consideration. Surveys conducted by Soviet researchers have shown that anxiety has spread for beyond the population of the more heavily contaminated areas. People`s awareness of their health status has increased enormously since the accident, and they now attribute many subjective and objective symptoms to radiation exposure. Medical personnel and lay people should be trained in counselling, to enable them to allay the fears people have.