Thyroid cancer is still being diagnosed in children today, following the disaster 30 years ago. As the power plant core exploded, a volatile isotope of Iodine was pumped into the air – Iodine-131. This iodine can be inhaled, or ingested, and when it rains, it is deposited on the ground and can stay there for up to eight days. While remaining there, it could be ingested by animals as they eat grass. Subsequently, when humans eat these animals – cows, or sheep etc. – they ingest the iodine, too. “The thyroid needs iodine – it’s an essential part of our diet,” Gerry Thomas, expert in the molecular pathology of cancer of Imperial College London, told IBTimes UK. “The problem is, iodine’s incredibly rare. So when there are lots of it, the thyroid quite literally sucks it up.” She says that following the Chernobyl disaster, there were huge amounts of radioactive iodine in the environment, and those living in the surrounding area were badly affected.
IB Times 23rd April 2016 read more »
Eerie ghost town scenes of Chernobyl 30 years on from radioactive nuclear catastrophe.
Daily Star 23rd April 2016 read more »
Standing 100 yards from the husk of Chernobyl’s Reactor Number 4, the click-click-click of the Geiger counter becomes alarmingly insistent. One step closer and it is beeping and flashing. Our guide gives a reassuring smile. “It’s fine,” she says. But she knows we know she would say that. Soon, we are back on the bus and driving away from the Vladimir Ilyich Lenin Power Station, better known as Chernobyl. When I first visited, two years after the world’s worst nuclear accident, it took weeks of negotiating with the Soviet authorities to gain access to the plant. Today, busloads of visitors arrive on an almost daily basis. For less than £100, the adventurous can take a one-day tour of the so-called “dead zone”, the contaminated 10km circle drawn around Chernobyl after the accident in the early hours of 26 April 1986. Holidaymakers rubber-necking the scenes of catastrophes used to be called “disaster tourists”. Today, those helping travellers to beat a path to Chernobyl, Fukushima or Auschwitz prefer to talk of adventure tourism. The Ukrainian authorities refer euphemistically to “education” rather than “tourism”, mindful of accusations they are profiting from tragedy.
Guardian 24th April 2016 read more »