I’m in the Bryansk region of Russia. Despite being over 180 kilometres from Chernobyl and thirty years after the disaster, my geiger counter still picks up elevated levels of radiation. This invisible radiation hazard is a day-to-day reality for the five million Chernobyl survivors that live in contaminated areas of the Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. They eat contaminated berries and vegetables. And they breathe radioactive smoke from fires in nearby forests contaminated by Chernobyl. Here in the Bryansk region many communities should have been evacuated, but never were. Worse, the Russian government is now cutting radiation protection measures and support programs for people here to save money. Last year, three hundred thousand people lost support when the government changed the status of several hundred settlements without any public consultation.
Greenpeace 7th April2016 read more »
The worst industrial accident the world has ever known – that is one description of the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. And it was with the looming 30th anniversary of the nuclear reactor explosion in the former Soviet Union in mind that a conference was called in Prague this week to examine the ongoing health risks from the incident. One of the main speakers at the conference was British radiologist Ian Fairlie who has just completed Torch 2016, an update of a 2006 study mapping the affects and likely health impact of the Chernobyl disaster. One of the innovations has been charting levels of Iodine 131, a significant cause of thyroid cancers, levels in Europe after the disaster. This is what Dr. Fairlie had to say: “This is a world first for you people, nobody else knows this. These maps are new, hardly anyone else knows about them. Caesium maps, they’re old, iodine maps, they’re new.” And he says the new maps provide startling findings for around a third of the Austrian population living in the Vienna region but also significant proportions of the Czech population. This is Austria, where we have a detailed map and just here, on the north part, is the Czech Republic of course. For your interest, the Vienna region really got it badly. But so did the Czech Republic too, here you can see here the Prague area and here Brno and there were high depositions of Iodine. We estimate that 40,000 in Europe will die or have fatal cancers as a result of Chernobyl.”
Radio Prague 7th April 2016 read more »
Just as climate change deniers leap from scientific uncertainty over the precise impacts of greenhouse gas emissions to certainty of little or no impact at all, so ‘pro-nuclear environmentalists’ conflate uncertainty of the mortality arising from Chernobyl and other nuclear disasters to certainty of few if any deaths, writes Jim Green. Their position is equally indefensible.
Ecologist 7th April 2016 read more »