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Encyclopedia > Chernobyl accident
The nuclear power plant at Chernobyl prior to the completion of the sarcophagus.
The nuclear power plant at Chernobyl prior to the completion of the sarcophagus.

The Chernobyl nuclear accident occurred on April 26, 1986 at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Pripyat, Ukraine (then part of the Soviet Union). It is regarded as the worst accident in the history of nuclear power. Because there was no containment building, a plume of radioactive fallout drifted over parts of the western Soviet Union, Eastern and Western Europe, Scandinavia, the British Isles, and the eastern United States. Large areas of Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia were badly contaminated, resulting in the evacuation and resettlement of roughly 300,000 people. About 60% of the radioactive fallout landed in Belarus. pic from French wiki This is a recent picture of the plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine--152. ... pic from French wiki This is a recent picture of the plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine--152. ... April 26 is the 116th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (117th in leap years). ... 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Chernobyl area. ... A nuclear power station. ... Pripyat Abandoned village near Pripyat View of Chernobyl from Pripyat The Ukrainian city of Prypyat (При́пять) (in Russian, Pripyat (При́пять), located (51°22′60″ N 30°6′0″ E) in the north of Ukraine near the Belarus border, is an abandoned city. ... Pathways from airborne radioactive contamination to man This is a list of notable accidents involving nuclear material. ... A nuclear power station. ... A containment building, in its most common usage, is a steel or concrete structure enclosing a nuclear reactor. ... Radioactivity may mean: Look up radioactivity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Current division of Europe into five (or more) regions: one definition of Eastern Europe is marked in orange Eastern Europe as a region has several alternative definitions, whereby it can denote: the region lying between the variously and vaguely defined areas of Central Europe and Russia. ... A common understanding of Western Europe in modern times. ... Scandinavia is a region in Northern Europe named after the Scandinavian Peninsula. ... The British Isles consist of Great Britain, Ireland and a number of much smaller surrounding islands. ...


The accident raised concerns about the safety of the Soviet nuclear power industry, slowing its expansion for a number of years, while forcing the Soviet government to become less secretive. The now-separate countries of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus have been burdened with continuing and substantial costs for decontamination and health care because of the Chernobyl accident. It is difficult to accurately tally the number of deaths caused by the events at Chernobyl, as Soviet-era attempts to cover up made it difficult to track down victims. Lists were incomplete, and Soviet authorities later forbade doctors to cite "radiation" on death certificates. However most of the expected long-term fatalities, especially those from cancer, have not yet actually occurred, and will be difficult to attribute specifically to the accident. Estimates and figures vary widely. A 2005 report prepared by the Chernobyl Forum, led by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and World Health Organization (WHO), attributed 56 direct deaths; 47 accident workers and 9 children with thyroid cancer, and estimated that as many as 9,000 people, among the approximately 6.6 million most concerned Soviets alone, will ultimately die from solid cancers (one of the induced diseases). [1] The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) projects tens of thousands dead among the liquidators (those who had been sent to clean up the accident) [2]. For its part, Greenpeace estimates a total death toll of 93,000 but cite in their report “The most recently published figures indicate that in Belarus, Russia and the Ukraine alone the accident could have resulted in an estimated 200,000 additional deaths in the period between 1990 and 2004.” [3]. Nuclear safety is a term which underscores and understates the danger implicit in the use of nuclear materials, and may be used to describe measures taken to prevent nuclear and radiation accidents. ... Decontamination is the process of cleansing to remove contamination, or the possibility (or fear) of contamination. ... The IAEA flag The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA, internally often referred to as The Agency), established as an autonomous organization on July 29, 1957, seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy and to inhibit its use for military purposes. ... WHO emblem The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations, acting as a coordinating authority on international public health, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. ... Thyroid cancer is cancer of the thyroid gland. ... International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) is a worldwide grouping of national medical organizations. ... Liquidators is the name given in the former USSR for approximatively 600 000 people who were in charge of cleaning-up Chernobyl after the April 26, 1986 Chernobyl accident. ... Greenpeace is an international environmental organization founded in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 1971. ...

Contents


The plant

The Chernobyl station (51°23′14″N, 30°06′41″E) is situated at the settlement of Pripyat, Ukraine, 18 km northwest of the city of Chernobyl, 16 km from the border of Ukraine and Belarus, and about 110 km north of Kiev. The station consisted of four reactors, each capable of producing 1 GW of electric power (3.2 gigawatts of thermal power), and the four together produced about 10% of Ukraine's electricity at the time of the accident. Construction of the plant began in the 1970s, with reactor No. 1 commissioned in 1977, followed by No. 2 (1978), No. 3 (1981), and No. 4 (1983). Two more reactors (No. 5 and No. 6, also capable of producing 1 gigawatt each) were under construction at the time of the accident. The four plants were designed as a type of reactor called RBMK-1000. A kilometer (Commonwealth spelling: kilometre), symbol: km is a unit of length in the metric system equal to 1,000 metres (from the Greek words χίλια (khilia) = thousand and μέτρο (metro) = count/measure). ... A monument to St. ... Core of a nuclear reactor A nuclear power station. ... The gigawatt (symbol: GW) is a unit for measuring power corresponding to one billion (109) watts. ... Electric power is the amount of work done by an electric current in a unit time. ... Lightning strikes during a night-time thunderstorm. ... RBMK is an acronym for the Russian reaktor bolshoy moshchnosti kanalniy which means reactor (of) large power (of the) channel (type), and describes a now obsolete class of nuclear power reactor which was built only in the Soviet Union. ...


The accident

On Saturday, April 26, 1986, at 1:23:58 a.m. local time, the unit 4 reactor of the Chernobyl power plant—known as Chernobyl-4—suffered a catastrophic steam explosion that resulted in a fire, a series of additional explosions, and a nuclear meltdown. April 26 is the 116th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (117th in leap years). ... 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Core of a nuclear reactor A nuclear power station. ... A steam explosion (also called a littoral explosion, or fuel-coolant interaction, fci) is a violent boiling or flashing of water into steam, occurring when water is either superheated, or rapidly heated by fine hot debris produced within it. ... A nuclear meltdown occurs when the core of a nuclear reactor melts, and is generally considered a serious nuclear accident. ...


Causes

There are two conflicting official theories about the cause of the accident. The first was published in August 1986 and effectively placed the blame solely on the power plant operators. The second theory was published in 1991 and attributed the accident to flaws in the RBMK reactor design, specifically the control rods. Both commissions were heavily lobbied by different groups, including the reactor's designers, Chernobyl power plant personnel, and the government. Some independent experts now believe that neither theory is completely correct. A power station (also power plant) is a facility for the generation of electric power. ... A control rod is a rod made of a chemical element capable of absorbing many neutrons without decaying themselves. ... Lobbying is the professional practice of public affairs advocacy, with the goal of influencing a governing body by promoting a point of view. ...


Another important factor contributing to the accident was that the operators were not informed about problems with the reactor. According to one of them, Anatoliy Dyatlov, the designers knew that the reactor was dangerous in some conditions but intentionally concealed this information. Contributing to this was that the plant's management was largely composed of non-RBMK-qualified personnel: the director, V.P. Bryukhanov, had experience and training in a coal-fired power plant. His chief engineer, Nikolai Fomin, also came from a conventional power plant. Anatoliy Dyatlov himself, deputy chief engineer of Reactors 3 and 4, only had "some experience with small nuclear reactors", namely small versions of the VVER nuclear reactor that were designed for the Soviet Navy's nuclear submarines. Coal is a fossil fuel extracted from the ground by underground mining or open-pit mining (surface mining). ... WWER-10ff (also VVER-1000 as a direct translitteration from Russian ВВЭР-1000). ... German UC-1 class World War I submarine A model of Gunter Priens Unterseeboot 47 (U-47), German WWII Type VII diesel-electric hunter-killer (SSK) submarine Typhoon class ballistic-missile carrying (SSBN) submarine, compared to a man USS Virginia, a Virginia-class nuclear attack (SSN) submarine A submarine...


In particular,

  • The reactor had a dangerously large positive void coefficient. In layman's terms, this meant that if bubbles of steam form in the reactor coolant water, the nuclear reaction speeds up, leading to a runaway reaction if there is no other intervention. Even worse, at low power output, this positive void coefficient was not compensated by other factors, which made the reactor unstable and dangerous. That the reactor was dangerous at low power was counter-intuitive and unknown to the crew.
  • A more significant flaw of the reactor was in the design of the control rods. In a nuclear reactor, control rods are inserted into the reactor to slow down the reaction. However, in the RBMK reactor design, the control rod end tips were made of graphite, the extenders (the end areas of the control rods above the end tips, measuring 1m in length) were hollow and filled with water, while the balance of the control rod - the truly functional area, absorbing the neutrons and thereby halting the reaction - were made of boron carbide.
  • For the initial few moments when control rods of this design are inserted into the reactor, coolant was displaced by the graphite ends of the rods. The coolant (water), a neutron absorber, was therefore replaced by graphite, a neutron moderator - that is, a material that enables the nuclear reaction rather than slow the reaction down. For the first few seconds of control rod activation the rods increased the reactor's speed, rather than the desired effect of decreasing the reaction. This behavior is rather counter-intuitive and was not known to the reactor operators.
  • The operators were careless and violated plant procedures, partly due to their lack of knowledge of the reactor's design flaws. Also, several procedural irregularities contributed to the cause of the accident. One was insufficient communication between the safety officers and the operators in charge of an experiment being run that night.

It is important to note that the operators switched off many of the reactor's safety systems, which was generally prohibited by the plant's published technical guidelines. In nuclear engineering, the void coefficient (more properly called void coefficient of reactivity) is a number that can be used to estimate how much the thermal output of a nuclear reactor increases (or decreases, if negative) as voids (steam bubbles) form in the reactor moderator or coolant. ... A coolant, or heat transfer fluid, is a fluid which flows through a device in order to prevent its overheating, transferring the heat produced by the device to other devices that utilize or dissipate it. ... Isotopes of certain elements absorb free neutrons creating higher isotopes of the same element. ... In nuclear engineering, a neutron moderator is a medium which reduces the velocity of fast neutrons, thereby turning them into thermal neutrons capable of sustaining a nuclear chain reaction. ...


According to a Government Commission report published in August 1986, operators removed at least 204 control rods from the reactor core (out of a total of 211 for this reactor model), leaving seven. The same guidelines (noted above) prohibit operation of the RBMK-1000 with fewer than 15 rods inside the core zone. A Nuclear reactor core is that portion of a nuclear reactor containing the fuel components where the nuclear reactions take place. ...


Events

On April 25, 1986, the Unit 4 reactor was scheduled to be shut down for routine maintenance. It had been decided to use this occasion as an opportunity to test the ability of the reactor's turbine generator to generate sufficient electricity to power the reactor's safety systems (in particular, the water pumps) in the event of a loss of external electric power. Reactors such as Chernobyl have a pair of diesel generators available as standby, but these do not activate instantaneously—the reactor was, therefore, to be used to spin up the turbine, at which point the turbine would be disconnected from the reactor and allowed to spin under the force of its own rotational inertia, and the aim of the test was to determine whether the turbines in the rundown phase could sufficiently power the pumps while the generators were starting up. The test was successfully carried out previously on another unit (with all safety provisions active) and the outcome was negative (that is, the turbines generated insufficient power in the rundown phase to power the pumps), but additional improvements were made to the turbines which prompted the need for another test. April 25 is the 115th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (116th in leap years). ... 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... WWII era steam turbine used for ship propulsion. ... Diesel or Diesel fuel is a specific fractional distillate of fuel oil (mostly petroleum) that is used as fuel in a diesel engine invented by German engineer Rudolf Diesel. ... The principle of inertia is one of the fundamental laws of classical physics which are used to describe the motion of matter and how it is affected by applied forces. ...


The power output of the Chernobyl-4 reactor was to be reduced from its normal capacity of 3200 MW thermal to 1000 MW thermal in order to conduct the test at a safer, lower level of power. However, due to a delay in beginning the experiment the reactor operators reduced the power level too rapidly, and the actual power output fell to 30 MW thermal. As a result, the concentration of the nuclear poison product xenon-135 increased (this product is typically consumed in a reactor under higher power conditions). Though the scale of the power drop was close to the maximum allowed by safety regulations, the crew's management chose not to shut down the reactor and to continue the experiment. Further, it was decided to 'shortcut' the experiment and raise power output only to 200 MW. In order to overcome the neutron absorption of the excess xenon-135, the control rods were pulled out of the reactor somewhat farther than normally allowed under safety regulations. As part of the experiment, at 1:05 AM on April 26, the water pumps which were to be driven by the turbine generator were turned on; the water flow generated by this action exceeded that specified by safety regulations. The water flow increased at 1:19 A.M.—since water also absorbs neutrons, this further increase in the water flow necessitated the removal of the manual control rods, producing a very unstable and dangerous operating condition. The megawatt (symbol: MW) is a unit for measuring power corresponding to one million (106) watts. ... The megawatt (symbol: MW) is a unit for measuring power corresponding to one million (106) watts. ... For information on radioactive toxins see Radiation poisoning A nuclear poison is a substances with a large neutron absorption cross-section in applications, such as nuclear reactors, when absorbing neutrons is an undesirable effect. ... General Name, Symbol, Number xenon, Xe, 54 Chemical series noble gases Group, Period, Block 18, 5, p Appearance colorless Atomic mass 131. ... A control rod is a rod made of a chemical element capable of absorbing many neutrons without decaying themselves. ... April 26 is the 116th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (117th in leap years). ...


At 1:23:04 A.M., the experiment began. The unstable state of the reactor was not reflected in any way on the control panel, and it does not appear that anyone in the reactor crew was fully aware of danger. Electricity to the water pumps was shut off, and as they were driven by the inertia of the turbine generator the water flow rate decreased. The turbine was disconnected from the reactor, increasing the level of steam in the reactor core. As the coolant heated, pockets of steam formed in the coolant lines. The particular design of the RBMK graphite moderated reactor at Chernobyl has a large positive void coefficient, which means that the power of the reactor increases rapidly in the absence of the neutron-absorbing effect of water, and in this case, the reactor operation becomes progressively less stable and more dangerous. At 1:23:40 A.M. the operators pressed the AZ-5 ("Rapid Emergency Defense 5") button that ordered a "SCRAM" — a shutdown of the nuclear reactor, fully inserting all control rods, including the manual control rods that had been incautiously withdrawn earlier, into the reactor. It is unclear whether it was done as an emergency measure, or simply as a routine method of shutting down the reactor upon the completion of an experiment (the reactor was scheduled to be shut down for routine maintenance). It is usually suggested that the SCRAM was ordered as a response to the unexpected rapid power increase. On the other hand, Anatoly Dyatlov, chief engineer on Chernobyl nuclear station at the time of the accident, writes in his book: RBMK is an acronym for the Russian reaktor bolshoy moshchnosti kanalniy which means reactor (of) large power (of the) channel (type), and describes a now obsolete class of nuclear power reactor which was built only in the Soviet Union. ... In nuclear engineering, the void coefficient (more properly called void coefficient of reactivity) is a number that can be used to estimate how much the thermal output of a nuclear reactor increases (or decreases, if negative) as voids (steam bubbles) form in the reactor moderator or coolant. ... A SCRAM is an emergency shutdown of a nuclear reactor - though the term has been extended to cover shutdowns of other complex operations, such as server farms and even large model railroads (see Tech Model Railroad Club). ...

"Prior to 01:23:40, systems of centralized control ... didn't register any parameter changes that could justify the SCRAM. Commission ... gathered and analyzed large amount of materials and, as stated in its report, failed to determine the reason why the SCRAM was ordered. There was no need to look for the reason. The reactor was simply being shut down upon the completion of the experiment." [4]

Due to the slow speed of the control rod insertion mechanism (18–20 seconds to complete), the hollow tips of the rods and the temporary displacement of coolant, the SCRAM caused the reaction rate to increase. Increased energy output caused the deformation of control rod channels. The rods became stuck after being inserted only one-third of the way, and were therefore unable to stop the reaction. By 1:23:47 the reactor jumped to around 30 GW, ten times the normal operational output. The fuel rods began to melt and the steam pressure rapidly increased causing a large steam explosion, displacing and destroying the reactor lid, rupturing the coolant tubes and then blowing a hole in the roof. A steam explosion (also called a littoral explosion, or fuel-coolant interaction, fci) is a violent boiling or flashing of water into steam, occurring when water is either superheated, or rapidly heated by fine hot debris produced within it. ...


To reduce costs, and because of its large size, the reactor was constructed with only partial containment. This allowed the radioactive contaminants to escape into the atmosphere after the steam explosion burst the primary pressure vessel. After part of the roof blew off, the inrush of oxygen—combined with the extremely high temperature of the reactor fuel and graphite moderator—sparked a graphite fire. This fire greatly contributed to the spread of radioactive material and the ultimate contamination of outlying areas. A containment building, in its most common usage, is a steel or concrete structure enclosing a nuclear reactor. ... General Name, Symbol, Number oxygen, O, 8 Chemical series Nonmetals, chalcogens Group, Period, Block 16, 2, p Appearance colorless Atomic mass 15. ... Graphite (named by Abraham Gottlob Werner in 1789, from the Greek γραφειν: to draw/write, for its use in pencils) is one of the allotropes of carbon. ... The radiation warning symbol (trefoil). ...


There is some controversy surrounding the exact sequence of events after 1:22:30 local time due to the inconsistencies between eyewitness accounts and station records. The version that is most commonly agreed upon is described above. According to this theory, the first explosion happened at approximately 1:23:47, seven seconds after the operators ordered the "SCRAM". It is sometimes claimed that the explosion happened 'before' or immediately following the SCRAM (this was the working version of the Soviet committee studying the accident). This distinction is important, because, if the reactor went critical several seconds after the SCRAM, its failure would have to be attributed to the design of the control rods, whereas the explosion at the time of the SCRAM would place the blame on the operators. Indeed, a weak seismic event, similar to a magnitude-2.5 earthquake, was registered at 1:23:39 in the Chernobyl area. The situation is complicated by the fact that the "SCRAM" button was pressed more than once, and the person who actually pressed it died two weeks after the accident from radiation poisoning. Core of a nuclear reactor A nuclear power station. ... Global earthquake epicenters, 1963–1998 An earthquake is a sudden and sometimes catastrophic movement of a part of the Earths crust. ... Radiation poisoning, also called radiation sickness, is a form of damage to organic tissue due to excessive exposure to ionizing radiation. ...


In January 1993, the IAEA issued a revised analysis of the Chernobyl accident, attributing the main root cause to the reactor's design and not to operator error. The IAEA's 1986 analysis had cited the operators' actions as the principal cause of the accident. IAEA The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), established as an autonomous organization on July 29, 1957, seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy and to inhibit its use for military purposes. ...


Radioactive release (source term)

The external gamma dose for a person in the open near the Chernobyl site.
The external gamma dose for a person in the open near the Chernobyl site.

A short report on the release of radioisotopes from the site can be read at the OSTI web site[5]. A more detailed report can be downloaded from the OECD web site's public library[6] as a 1.85MB PDF file. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (911x623, 28 KB) Summary external gamma dose rate at chernobyl Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (911x623, 28 KB) Summary external gamma dose rate at chernobyl Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organization of those developed countries that accept the principles of representative democracy and a free market economy. ...


At different times after the accident, different isotopes were responsible for the majority of the external dose. The dose which has been calculated is from external gamma irradiation, for a person standing in the open. The gamma dose to a person in a shelter or the internal dose is harder to estimate.


Because the fission products page has a detailed discussion of the properties of those fission products which are most dangerous, only a short description of the radioisotopes released will be given here. Fission products are the residues of fission processes. ...


The release of the radioisotopes from the nuclear fuel was largely controlled by their boiling points, and the majority of the radioactivity present in the core was retained in the reactor. Nuclear fuel is any material that can be consumed to derive nuclear energy, by analogy to chemical fuel that is burned to derive energy. ... The boiling point of a substance is the temperature at which it can change its state from a liquid to a gas throughout the bulk of the liquid at a given pressure. ... Radioactivity may mean: Look up radioactivity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

  • All of the noble gases, including (Kr and Xe) contained within the reactor were released immediately into the atmosphere by the first steam explosion.
  • About 55% of the radioactive iodine in the reactor was released, as a mixture of vapour, solid particles and also in the form of organic iodine compounds.
  • Cesium and tellurium were released in aerosol form.

Two sizes of particles were released, the small particles were 0.3 to 1.5 micrometers (aerodynamic diameter) while the large were 10 micrometers in size. The larger particles contained about 80 to 90% of the released nonvolatile radioisotopes (95Zr, 95Nb, 140La, 144Ce and the transuranic elements (neptunium, plutonium and the minor actinides) embedded in a uranium oxide matrix. The noble gases are the chemical elements in group 18 (old-style Group 0) of the periodic table. ... General Name, Symbol, Number krypton, Kr, 36 Chemical series noble gases Group, Period, Block 18, 4, p Appearance colorless Atomic mass 83. ... General Name, Symbol, Number xenon, Xe, 54 Chemical series noble gases Group, Period, Block 18, 5, p Appearance colorless Atomic mass 131. ... General Name, Symbol, Number iodine, I, 53 Chemical series halogens Group, Period, Block 17, 5, p Appearance violet-dark gray, lustrous Atomic mass 126. ... Vapor (US English) or vapour (British English) is the gaseous state of matter. ... General Name, Symbol, Number Caesium, Cs, 55 Series Alkali metals Group, Period, Block 1(IA), 6, s Density, Hardness 1879 kg/m3, 0. ... General Name, Symbol, Number tellurium, Te, 52 Chemical series metalloids Group, Period, Block 16, 5, p Appearance silvery lustrous gray Atomic mass 127. ... http://visibleearth. ... Aerodynamics is a branch of fluid dynamics concerned with the study of gas flows, first analysed by George Cayley in the 1800s. ... General Name, Symbol, Number zirconium, Zr, 40 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 4, 5, d Appearance silvery white Atomic mass 91. ... General Name, Symbol, Number niobium, Nb, 41 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 5, 5, d Appearance gray metallic Atomic mass 92. ... General Name, Symbol, Number lanthanum, La, 57 Chemical series lanthanides Group, Period, Block 3, 6, f Appearance silvery white Atomic mass 138. ... General Name, Symbol, Number cerium, Ce, 58 Chemical series lanthanides Group, Period, Block n/a, 6, f Appearance silvery white Atomic mass 140. ... General Name, Symbol, Number neptunium, Np, 93 Chemical series actinides Group, Period, Block n/a, 7, f Appearance silvery metallic Atomic mass (237) g/mol Electron configuration [Rn] 5f4 6d1 7s2 Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 22, 9, 2 Physical properties Phase solid Density (near r. ... General Name, Symbol, Number plutonium, Pu, 94 Chemical series actinides Group, Period, Block n/a, 7, f Appearance silvery white Atomic mass (244) g/mol Electron configuration [Rn] 5f6 7s2 Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 24, 8, 2 Physical properties Phase solid Density (near r. ... The minor actinides are the actinide elements in spent fuel other than uranium and plutonium, these are termed major actinides. ... General Name, Symbol, Number Uranium, U, 92 Chemical series Actinides Period, Block 7, f Density, Hardness 19050 kg/m3, 6 Appearance silvery-white metal Atomic properties Atomic weight 238. ...

The contributions made by the different isotopes to the dose (in air) caused in the contaminated area in the time shortly after the accident. Note that this image was drawn using data from the OECD report and the second edition of 'The radiochemical manual'.
The contributions made by the different isotopes to the dose (in air) caused in the contaminated area in the time shortly after the accident. Note that this image was drawn using data from the OECD report and the second edition of 'The radiochemical manual'.

Image File history File links Download high resolution version (911x623, 63 KB) Summary see airdosechernobyl. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (911x623, 63 KB) Summary see airdosechernobyl. ...

Immediate crisis management

The scale of the tragedy was exacerbated by both the unpreparedness of local administrators and the lack of proper equipment. All but two dosimeters present in the 4th reactor building had limits of 1 milliröntgen per second. The remaining two had limits of 1000 R/s; access to one of them was blocked by the explosion, and the other one broke when turned on. Thus the reactor crew could only ascertain that the radiation levels in much of the reactor building were above 4 R/h (true levels were up to 20,000 roentgen per hour in some areas; lethal dose is around 500 roentgen over 5 hours). Cross section diagram of dosimeter released by the Federal Civil Defense Authority A dosimeter is any device used to measure an individuals exposure to a hazardous environment, particularly when the hazard is cumulative over long intervals of time, or ones lifetime. ... The röntgen or roentgen (symbol R) is a unit of exposure to ionizing radiation (X or gamma rays), and is named after the German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen. ...


This allowed the chief of reactor crew, Alexander Akimov, to assume that the reactor was intact. The evidence of pieces of graphite and reactor fuel lying around the building was ignored, and the readings of another dosimeter brought in by 4:30 A.M. local time were dismissed under the pretext that the new dosimeter must have been defective. Akimov stayed with his crew in the reactor building until morning, trying to pump water into the reactor. None of them wore any protective gear. Most of them, including Akimov himself, died from radiation exposure during the three weeks following the accident.


Shortly after the accident, firefighters arrived to try to extinguish the fires. They were not told how dangerously radioactive the smoke and the debris were. The fire was extinguished by 5 A.M., but many firefighters received high doses of radiation. The government committee formed to investigate the accident arrived at Chernobyl in the evening of April 26. By that time two people were dead and fifty-two were hospitalized. During the night of April 26April 27—more than 24 hours after the explosion—the committee, faced with ample evidence of extremely high levels of radiation and a number of cases of radiation exposure, had to acknowledge the destruction of the reactor and order the evacuation of the nearby city of Pripyat. In order to reduce baggage, the residents were told that the evacuation would be temporary, lasting approximately three days. As a result, Pripyat still contains personal belongings that can never be moved due to radiation. From eyewitness accounts of the firefighters involved before they died, (as reported on the BBC television series Witness) one described his experience of the radiation as "tasting like metal", and feeling a sensation similar to that of pins and needles all over his face. April 26 is the 116th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (117th in leap years). ... April 26 is the 116th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (117th in leap years). ... April 27 is the 117th day of the year (118th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 248 days remaining. ... Pripyat Abandoned village near Pripyat View of Chernobyl from Pripyat The Ukrainian city of Prypyat (При́пять) (in Russian, Pripyat (При́пять), located (51°22′60″ N 30°6′0″ E) in the north of Ukraine near the Belarus border, is an abandoned city. ... Paresthesia (paraesthesia in British) is a sensation of tingling, pricking, or numbness of the skin with no apparent physical cause, more generally known as the feeling of pins and needles. ...


The water that had hurriedly been pumped into the reactor building in a futile attempt to extinguish the fire had run down underneath the reactor floor to the space underneath. The problem presented by this was the fact that the smouldering fuel and other material on the reactor floor was starting to burn its way through this floor, and was being made worse by materials being dropped from helicopters, which simply acted as a furnace to increase the temperatures further. If this material came into contact with the water, it would have generated a thermal explosion which would have arguably been worse than the initial reactor explosion itself, and would have, by many estimates, rendered land in a radius of hundreds of miles from the plant uninhabitable for at least one hundred years.


In order to prevent this, "liquidators"—members of the army and other workers—were sent in as cleanup staff by the Soviet government. Two of these were sent in wet suits to release the valve to vent the radioactive water, and thus prevent a thermal explosion. These men, just like the other liquidators and firefighters that helped with the cleanup, were not told of the danger they faced. The two men saved millions by releasing the water, yet it is likely they did not even reach the surface again before they died.


The worst of the radioactive debris was collected inside what was left of the reactor. The reactor itself was covered with bags with sand, lead and boric acid thrown off helicopters (some 5,000 tons during the week following the accident). A large concrete sarcophagus was hastily erected to seal off the reactor and its contents. This article is about the chemical element. ... Boric acid, also called boracic acid or orthoboric acid, is a mild acid often used as an antiseptic, insecticide, flame retardant, and as a precursor of other chemical compounds. ... The word ton or tonne is derived from the Old English tunne, and ultimately from the Old French tonne, and referred originally to a large cask with a capacity of 252 wine gallons, which holds approximately 2100 pounds of water. ... Stone sarcophagus of Pharaoh Merenptah Detail of a stone sarcophagus in the Istanbul Archeological Museum showing a hunting scene Anthropoid sarcophagus discovered at Cádiz A sarcophagus is a stone container for a coffin or body. ...


Many of the vehicles used by the "liquidators" remain scattered around the Chernobyl area to this day.[7]


The effects of the accident

See main article: The effects of the Chernobyl Accident

The nuclear power plant at Chernobyl prior to the completion of the sarcophagus. ...

Immediate results

A monument to the victims of the Chernobyl disaster at Moscow's Mitino cemetery, where some of the firefighters that battled the flames and later died of radiation exposure are buried. Photo by Mikhail Evstafiev
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A monument to the victims of the Chernobyl disaster at Moscow's Mitino cemetery, where some of the firefighters that battled the flames and later died of radiation exposure are buried. Photo by Mikhail Evstafiev

The nuclear meltdown provoked a radioactive cloud which flew over Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, but also the European part of Turkey, Moldova, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, Austria, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, France and the United Kingdom (UK) [8].. In fact, the initial evidence in other countries that a major exhaust of radioactive material had occurred came not from Soviet sources, but from Sweden, where on April 27 workers at the Forsmark Nuclear Power Plant (approximately 1100 km from the Chernobyl site) were found to have radioactive particles on their clothes. It was Sweden's search for the source of radioactivity, after they had determined there was no leak at the Swedish plant, that led to the first hint of a serious nuclear problem in the Western Soviet Union. In France, the state then claimed that the radioactive cloud had stopped at the Italian border. Therefore, while some kind of food were prohibited in Italy because of radioactivity (in particular mushrooms), the French authorities didn't take any such measures, in an attempt to appease the population's fears. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2048x1362, 370 KB) Summary A monument to the victims of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster at Mitino cemetery outside Moscow, where some of the firefighters that battled the flames during the 26 April 1986 disaster and later died of radiation... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2048x1362, 370 KB) Summary A monument to the victims of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster at Mitino cemetery outside Moscow, where some of the firefighters that battled the flames during the 26 April 1986 disaster and later died of radiation... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... April 27 is the 117th day of the year (118th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 248 days remaining. ... Forsmark Nuclear Power Plant is a nuclear power plant in Sweden, and also the site of the Swedish spent nuclear fuel repository. ...


Contamination from the Chernobyl accident was not evenly spread across the surrounding countryside, but scattered irregularly depending on weather conditions. Reports from Soviet and Western scientists indicate that Belarus received about 60% of the contamination that fell on the former Soviet Union. A large area in the Russian Federation south of Bryansk was also contaminated, as were parts of northwestern Ukraine. Historic coat of arms of Bryansk introduced in 1781 Bryansk fortress Bryansk (Russian: ) is a city in Russia, located 379 km south-west from Moscow. ...


Two-hundred and three people were hospitalized immediately, of whom 31 died (28 of them died from acute radiation exposure) [citation needed]. Most of these were fire and rescue workers trying to bring the accident under control, who were not fully aware of how dangerous the radiation exposure (from the smoke) was (for a discussion of the more important isotopes in fallout see fission products). One-hundred and thirty-five thousand people were evacuated from the area, including 50,000 from the nearby town of Pripyat, Ukraine. Health officials have predicted that over the next 70 years there will be a 2% increase in cancer rates in much of the population which was exposed to the 5–12 (depending on source) EBq of radioactive contamination released from the reactor. An additional 10 individuals have already died of cancer as a result of the accident. [citation needed] Radiation has a variety of different meanings. ... Fission products are the residues of fission processes. ... Pripyat Abandoned village near Pripyat View of Chernobyl from Pripyat The Ukrainian city of Prypyat (При́пять) (in Russian, Pripyat (При́пять), located (51°22′60″ N 30°6′0″ E) in the north of Ukraine near the Belarus border, is an abandoned city. ... The becquerel (symbol Bq) is the SI derived unit of radioactivity, defined as the activity of a quantity of radioactive material in which one nucleus decays per second. ... The radiation warning symbol (trefoil). ...


Soviet scientists reported that the Chernobyl Unit 4 reactor contained about 180-190 metric tons of uranium dioxide fuel and fission products. Estimates of the amount of this material that escaped range from 5 to 30 percent, but some liquidators, who have actually been inside the sarcophagus and the reactor shell itself -- e.g. Mr. Usatenko and Dr. Karpan [citation needed] -- state that not more than 5-10% of the fuel remains inside; indeed, photographs of the reactor shell show that it is completely empty. Because of the intense heat of the fire, much of the ejected fuel was lofted high into the atmosphere (with no containment building to stop it), where it spread. UO2 A black, radioactive, crystalline powder, once used in the late 1800s to mid-1900s in ceramic glazes. ... A containment building, in its most common usage, is a steel or concrete structure enclosing a nuclear reactor. ...

Soviet medal awarded to liquidators.
Soviet medal awarded to liquidators.

The workers involved in the recovery and cleanup after the accident, known as "liquidators", received high doses of radiation. According to Soviet estimates, between 300,000 and 600,000 liquidators were involved in the cleanup of the 30 km evacuation zone around the reactor, but many of them entered the zone two years after the accident.[9] Image File history File links To participator of the liquidation of consequence of accident on Chernobyl Nuclear Electric Station Money is the closest tag I could find - as it is minted by the government, and is similar to a coin and conveys a certain currancy backed by the government. ... Image File history File links To participator of the liquidation of consequence of accident on Chernobyl Nuclear Electric Station Money is the closest tag I could find - as it is minted by the government, and is similar to a coin and conveys a certain currancy backed by the government. ... Liquidators is the name given in the former USSR for approximatively 600 000 people who were in charge of cleaning-up Chernobyl after the April 26, 1986 Chernobyl accident. ...


Some children in the contaminated areas were exposed to high radiation doses of up to 50 grays (Gy) because of an intake of radioactive iodine-131, a relatively short-lived isotope with a half-life of 8 days, from contaminated milk produced locally. Several studies have found that the incidence of thyroid cancer among children in Belarus, Ukraine and Russia has risen sharply. So far, no increase in leukemia is discernible, but this is expected to be evident in the next few years along with a greater, though not statistically discernible, incidence of other cancers. There has been no substantiated increase attributable to Chernobyl in congenital abnormalities, adverse pregnancy outcomes or any other radiation-induced disease in the general population, either in the contaminated areas or further afield [citation needed]. Radiation has a variety of different meanings. ... The gray (symbol: Gy) is the SI unit of absorbed dose. ... General Name, Symbol, Number iodine, I, 53 Chemical series halogens Group, Period, Block 17, 5, p Appearance violet-dark gray, lustrous Atomic mass 126. ... Half-Life For a quantity subject to exponential decay, the half-life is the time required for the quantity to fall to half of its initial value. ... Thyroid cancer is cancer of the thyroid gland. ... Leukemia (leukaemia in Commonwealth English) is a cancer of the blood or bone marrow characterized by an abnormal proliferation of blood cells, usually white blood cells (leukocytes). ...


Long-term health effects

Map showing caesium-137 contamination in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine. In curies by square meters (1 curie is 37 gigabecquerels (GBq) or 37 billion becquerels exactly).
Map showing caesium-137 contamination in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine. In curies by square meters (1 curie is 37 gigabecquerels (GBq) or 37 billion becquerels exactly).

Right after the accident, the main health concern involved radioactive iodine, with a half-life of eight days. Today, there is concern about contamination of the soil with strontium-90 and caesium-137, which have half-lives of about 30 years. The highest levels of caesium-137 are found in the surface layers of the soil where they are absorbed by plants, insects and mushrooms, entering the local food supply. Some scientists fear that radioactivity will affect the local population for the several next generations. Download high resolution version (1070x1154, 236 KB)Courtesy of the University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin. ... Download high resolution version (1070x1154, 236 KB)Courtesy of the University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin. ... The curie (symbol Ci) is a former unit of radioactivity, defined as 3. ... The becquerel (symbol Bq) is the SI derived unit of radioactivity, defined as the activity of a quantity of radioactive material in which one nucleus decays per second. ... Half-Life For a quantity subject to exponential decay, the half-life is the time required for the quantity to fall to half of its initial value. ... General Name, Symbol, Number strontium, Sr, 38 Chemical series alkaline earth metals Group, Period, Block 2, 5, s Appearance silvery white metallic Atomic mass 87. ... General Name, Symbol, Number caesium, Cs, 55 Chemical series alkali metals Group, Period, Block 1, 6, s Appearance silvery gold Atomic mass 132. ...


Soviet authorities started evacuating people from the area around Chernobyl within 36 hours of the accident. By May 1986, about a month later, all those living within a 30 km (18 mile) radius of the plant—about 116,000 people—had been relocated. This region is often referred to as the Zone of alienation. However, radiation affected the area in a much wider scale than this 30 km radius. The Zone of Alienation, which is often referred to as The Chernobyl Zone, The 30 Kilometre Zone, The Zone of Exclusion or The Fourth Zone (Ukrainian official designation: Зона відчуження Чорнобильської АЕС, zona vidchuzhennya Chornobylskoyi AES, colloquially: Чорнобильська зона, Chornobylska zona оr Четверта зона, Chetverta zona) is the 30-km exclusion zone around the...


The issue of long-term effects of Chernobyl disaster on civilians is controversial. Over 300,000 people were resettled because of the accident; millions lived and continue to live in the contaminated area. On the other hand, most of those affected received relatively low doses of radiation; there is little evidence of increased mortality, cancers or birth defects among them; and when such evidence is present, existence of a causal link to radioactive contamination is uncertain.


It must be noted that aside from obstacles posed by Soviet policies during and after the catastrophe, scientific studies may still be limited by a lack of democratic transparency. In Belarus, Yuri Bandazhevsky, a scientist who questioned the official estimates of Chernobyl's consequences and the relevancy of the official maximum limit of 1 000 Bq/kg, has allegedly been a victim of political repression. He was imprisoned from 2001 to 2005 on a bribery conviction, after his 1999 publication of reports critical of the official research being conducted into the Chernobyl incident. Catastrophe (Gk. ... Yuri Bandazhevsky, born on January 9, 1957 in Belarus, is a scientist working on sanitary consequences of the Chernobyl accident. ... Political repression means the restriction of the abilities of certain groups of people to take part in the political life of a society; or the persecution of people for their political beliefs. ...


Food restrictions

An abandoned village near Prypiat, close to Chernobyl
An abandoned village near Prypiat, close to Chernobyl

Twenty years after the catastrophe, restriction orders remain in place in the production, transportation and consumption of food contaminated by Chernobyl fallout. In the UK, they remain in place on 374 farms covering 750 km2 and 200 000 sheep. In part of Sweden and Finland, as regards stock animals, including reindeer, in natural and near-natural environments. "In certain regions of Germany, Austria, Italy, Sweden, Finland, Lithuania and Poland, wild game (including boar and deer), wild mushrooms, berries and carnivore fish from lakes reach levels of several thousand Bq per kg of caesium-137", while "in Germany, caesium-137 levels in wild boar muscle reached 40,000 Bq/kg. The average level is 6,800 Bq/kg, more than ten times the EU limit of 600 Bq/kg", according to the TORCH 2006 report. The European Commission has stated that "The restrictions on certain foodstuffs from certain Member States must therefore continue to be maintained for many years to come". [8] abandoned village near Chernobyl (photo taken by me) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... abandoned village near Chernobyl (photo taken by me) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Prypiat Abandoned village near Prypiat View of the Chernobyl power plant from Prypiat Prypiat is an abandoned city in northern Ukraine, near the border of Belarus. ...


As of 2006, sheep farmed in some areas of the UK are still subject to inspection which may lead to them being prohibited from entering the human food chain because of contamination arising from the accident: Food chains and food webs or food networks describe the feeding relationships between species in a biotic community. ...

"Some of this radioactivity, predominantly radiocaesium-137, was deposited on certain upland areas of the UK, where sheep-farming is the primary land-use. Due to the particular chemical and physical properties of the peaty soil types present in these upland areas, the radiocaesium is still able to pass easily from soil to grass and hence accumulate in sheep. A maximum limit of 1 000 Becquerels per kilogramme (Bq/kg) of radiocaesium is applied to sheep meat affected by the accident to protect consumers. This limit was introduced in the UK in 1986, based on advice from the European Commission's Article 31 group of experts. Under power provided under the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985 (FEPA), Emergency Orders have been used since 1986 to impose restrictions on the movement and sale of sheep exceeding the limit in certain parts of Cumbria, North Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland... When the Emergency Orders were introduced in 1986, the Restricted Areas were large, covering almost 9 000 farms, and over 4 million sheeps. Since 1986, the areas covered by restrictions have dramatically decreased and now cover 374 farms, or part farms, and around 200 000 sheep. This represents a reduction of over 95% since 1986, with only limited areas of Cumbria, South Western Scotland and North Wales, covered by restrictions. [10] Caesium-137 is a radioactive isotope which is formed mainly by nuclear fission. ... The becquerel (symbol Bq) is the SI derived unit of radioactivity, defined as the activity of a quantity of radioactive material in which one nucleus decays per second. ... Cumbria is a county in the North West region of England. ... Approximate extent of North Wales North Wales (known in some archaic texts as Northgalis) is the northernmost unofficial region of Wales, bordered to the south by Mid Wales. ... Motto: Nemo me impune lacessit (English: No one provokes me with impunity) Scotlands location within Europe Scotlands location within the United Kingdom Languages English, Gaelic, Scots Capital Edinburgh Largest city Glasgow First Minister Jack McConnell Area - Total - % water Ranked 2nd UK 78,782 km² 1. ... Dieu et mon droit (motto) (French for God and my right)2 Northern Irelands location within the UK Main language English Other recognised languages Irish, Ulster Scots Capital and largest city Belfast First Minister Office suspended Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Peter Hain MP Area  - Total Ranked 4th...

In Norway, the Sami people were affected by contaminated food (the reindeers had been contaminated eating lichen, which is very sensitive to radioactivity) [11] It has been suggested that Lapps race be merged into this article or section. ... Binomial name Rangifer tarandus (Linnaeus, 1758) For the musician, please see Caribou (musician). ... Crustose and foliose lichens on a wall A foliose lichen on basalt. ...


Controversy over fatality estimates

In September 2005, a draft summary report by the Chernobyl Forum, comprising a number of UN agencies including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), other UN bodies and the Governments of Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine, put the total predicted number of deaths due to the accident at 4,000 [1]. This death toll predicted by the WHO included the 47 workers who died of acute radiation syndrome as a direct result of radiation from the disaster, nine children who died from thyroid cancer, an estimated 3,940 people among the 600,000 with the highest levels of exposure. [12] The full version of the WHO health effects report adopted by the UN, published in April 2006, includes the prediction of 5,000 additional fatalities from significantly contaminated areas in Belarus, Russia and Unkraine and predicts that, in total, 9,000 will die from solid cancers among the 6.8 million most exposed Soviets. The IAEA flag The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA, internally often referred to as The Agency), established as an autonomous organization on July 29, 1957, seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy and to inhibit its use for military purposes. ... WHO emblem The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations, acting as a coordinating authority on international public health, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. ... The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the largest multilateral source of grant technical assistance in the world. ... Radiation poisoning, also called radiation sickness, is a form of damage to organic tissue due to excessive exposure to ionizing radiation. ...


The methodology of the Chernobyl Forum report has been disputed by Greenpeace, the International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear Warfare (IPPNW), and Elisabeth Cardis of the International Agency for Research on Cancer [13] The main criticism has been with regard to the restriction of the Forum's study to Belarus, Ukraine and Russia. German Green MEP (member of the European Parliament) Rebecca Harms, commissioned a report on Chernobyl in 2006 (TORCH ,The Other Report on Chernobyl). The 2006 TORCH report claimed that: Greenpeace is an international environmental organization founded in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 1971. ... International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) is a worldwide grouping of national medical organizations. ... The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC, or CIRC in its French acronym) is an intergovernmental agency forming part of the World Health Organisation of the United Nations. ... This article is about the green parties around the world. ... A Member of the European Parliament (English abbreviation MEP) is a member of the European Unions directly-elected legislative body, the European Parliament. ... Rebecca Harms (born 7 December 1956 in Hambrock, Uelzen) is a German politician and Member of the European Parliament for Alliance 90/The Greens, part of the European Greens. ...

"In terms of their surface areas, Belarus (22% of its land area) and Austria (13%) were most affected by higher levels of contamination. Other countries were seriously affected; for example, more than 5% of Ukraine, Finland and Sweden were contaminated to high levels (> 40,000 Bq/m2 caesium-137). More than 80% of Moldova, the European part of Turkey, Slovenia, Switzerland, Austria and the Slovak Republic were contaminated to lower levels (> 4,000 Bq/m2 caesium-137). And 44% of Germany and 34% of the UK were similarly affected." (See map of radioactive distribution of Caesium-137 in Europe) [8]

The IAEA/WHO and UNSCEAR considered areas with exposure greater than 40,000 Bq/m2; the TORCH report also included areas contaminated with more than 4,000 Bq/m2 of Cs-137.


The TORCH 2006 report "estimated that more than half the iodine-131 from Chernobyl [which increases the risk of thyroid cancer] was deposited outside the former Soviet Union. Possible increases in thyroid cancer have been reported in the Czech Republic and the UK, but more research is needed to evaluate thyroid cancer incidences in Western Europe". [14]

Map of radioactive fallout caesium-137 after Chernobyl catastrophe. In kilo Becquerel (kBq) by square meters. Copyright J.Smith and N.A. Beresford, "Chernobyl: Catastrophe and Consequences" (Praxis, Chichester, 2005).
Map of radioactive fallout caesium-137 after Chernobyl catastrophe. In kilo Becquerel (kBq) by square meters. Copyright J.Smith and N.A. Beresford, "Chernobyl: Catastrophe and Consequences" (Praxis, Chichester, 2005).

Another study alleged heightened mortality in Sweden [15]. Image File history File links Radioactive_fallout_caesium137_after_Chernobyl. ... Image File history File links Radioactive_fallout_caesium137_after_Chernobyl. ... The becquerel (symbol Bq) is the SI derived unit of radioactivity, defined as the activity of a quantity of radioactive material in which one nucleus decays per second. ...


Greenpeace claimed contradictions in the report itself, quoting a 1998 WHO study referenced in the 2005 report, which projected 212 dead from only 72 000 liquidators [16]. In its report, Greenpeace suggested there will be 270,000 cases of cancer attributable to Chernobyl fallout, and that 93,000 of these will probably be fatal, but state in their report that “The most recently published figures indicate that in Belarus, Russia and the Ukraine alone the accident could have resulted in an estimated 200,000 additional deaths in the period between 1990 and 2004.” . Blake Lee-Harwood, campaigns director at Greenpeace, believes that cancer was likely to be the cause of less than half of the final fatalities and that "intestinal problems, heart and circulation problems, respiratory problems, endocrine problems, and particularly effects on the immune system," will also cause fatalities.


According to the April 2006 report by the International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear Warfare (IPPNW), entitled "Chernobyl's consequences on health", more than 10 000 people are today affected by thyroid cancer and 50 000 cases are expected. In Europe, the IPPNW claims that 10 000 deformities have been observed in newborns because of Chernobyl's radioactive discharge, with 5 000 deaths among newborn children. They also claim that several hundreds of thousands of the people who worked on the site after the accident are now sick because of radiation, and tens of thousands are dead [2]. According to the Union Chernobyl, the main organization of liquidators, 10% of the 600 000 liquidators are now dead, and 165 000 disabled [2]. International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) is a worldwide grouping of national medical organizations. ... Teratology (from the Greek teras (genitive teratos), meaning monster, and logos meaning study) is the medical study of teratogenesis or grossly deformed individuals. ...


Disease latencies

Advocates of the higher casualty estimates have also asserted that many diseases have latencies that it is very difficult to generate accurate estimates as early as 2006. "Most solid cancers have long periods between exposure and appeareance of between 20 and 60 years. Now, 20 years after the accident, an average 40% increased incidence in solid cancer has been observed in Belarus with the most pronounced increase in the most contaminated regions. The 2005 IAEA/WHO reports document preliminary evidence of an increase in the incidence of pre-menopausal breast cancer among women exposed at ages lower than 45 years. The TORCH report states that "two non-cancer effects, cataract induction and cardiovascular diseases, are well documented with clear evidence of a Chernobyl connection." If "it is well known that radiation can damage genes and chromosomes", "the relationship between genetic changes and the development of future disease is complex and the relevance of such damage to future risk is often unclear. On the other hand, a number of recent studies have examined genetic damage in those exposed to radiation from the Chernobyl accident. Studies in Belarus have suggested a twofold increase in the germline minisattelite mutation rate". [17] In optics one considers angles of incidence. ... Breast cancer is cancer of breast tissue. ... Some steps an individual can take to reduce the risk of cardivascular disease include: Not smoking Maintaining a healthy body mass index Maintaining a diet conducive to cardovascular health, for example the polymeal Getting regular cardiovascular exercise Diet a low energy diet Exercise aerobic exercise, which will increase the strength...


Comparison with other disasters

Main article: Nuclear and radiation accidents

Many other light nuclear and radiation accidents have occurred during the years, although none took the proportions of the Chernobyl's catastrophe. Before April 1986, the October 10, 1957 fire of the Windscale reactor near Sellafield, England and the March 28, 1979 Three Mile Island US nuclear power plant nuclear meltdown were considered as the world's worst civilian nuclear accidents. Other civilian nuclear accidents involving known fatalities happened in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on September 23, 1983 (one killed) [1], and most recently in the Japanese Tokaimura nuclear fuel reprocessing plant, on September 30, 1999 (one radiation related death of one worker on December 22 of that same year and another on April 27, 2000) [18] Pathways from airborne radioactive contamination to man // This article covers notable accidents involving nuclear devices and radioactive materials. ... October 10 is the 283rd day of the year (284th in Leap years). ... 1957 (MCMLVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... On October 10, 1957, the graphite core of a British nuclear reactor at Windscale, Cumbria, caught fire releasing substantial amounts of radioactive contamination into the surrounding area. ... The Sellafield facility on the Cumbrian coast, United Kingdom Sellafield is the name of a nuclear site, close to the village and railway station of Seascale, [1] operated by British Nuclear Fuels Limited (BNFL), but owned since 1 April 2005 by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. ... March 28 is the 87th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (88th in Leap years). ... This page refers to the year 1979. ... Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station consists of two nuclear reactors, each with its own containment building and cooling towers. ... This article lists notable civilian accidents involving nuclear material. ... Buenos Aires (English: Fair Winds, originally Ciudad de la Santísima Trinidad y Puerto de Santa María de los Buenos Aires, City of the Holy Trinity and Port of Saint Mary of the Fair Winds) is the capital of Argentina and its largest city and port, as well as... September 23 is the 266th day of the year (267th in leap years). ... 1983 (MCMLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Tōkai (東海村; -mura) is a village located in Naka District, Ibaraki, Japan. ... September 30 is the 273rd day of the year (274th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 92 days remaining. ... 1999 (MCMXCIX) was a common year starting on Friday, and was designated the International Year of Older Persons by the United Nations. ... December 22 is the 356th day of the year (357th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... April 27 is the 117th day of the year (118th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 248 days remaining. ... This article is about the year 2000. ...


Several military nuclear accidents have also been observed during the years. This article lists notable military accidents involving nuclear material. ...


The Chernobyl incident has also been compared to the 1984 Bhopal disaster. On December 3, 1984, a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India leaked 40 tons of toxic methyl isocyanate gas, which killed at least 15,000 people, and injured anywhere from 150,000 to 600,000 others. Time cover about Bhopal disaster. ... December 3 is the 337th (in leap years the 338th) day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1984 (MCMLXXXIV) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Union Carbide Corporation, headquartered in Danbury, Connecticut, is a United States chemical manufacturer, now a subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company. ... Bhopāl (भोपाल) is a city in central India. ... Methyl isocyanate (also isocyanatomethane, methyl carbylamine, MIC. C2H3NO; H3C-N=C=O) is a clear, colourless, sharp smelling liquid. ...


Other manmade disasters with very high death tolls include:

The Johnstown Flood disaster (or Great Flood of 1889 as it became known locally) occurred on May 31, 1889. ... The Banqiao Reservoir Dam (板桥水库大坝) and Shimantan Reservoir Dam (石漫滩水库大坝) are among 62 dams in Zhumadian Prefecture of Chinas Henan Province that failed catastrophically in 1975 during a freak typhoon. ... The Great mz,bv,mzbcvm,befell London starting on December 87, 1952, and lasted until March of 1953. ... This article is about the British city. ... Royal motto (French): Dieu et mon droit (Translated: God and my right) Englands location (dark green) within the British Isles Languages None official English de facto Capital None official London de facto Largest city London Area – Total Ranked 1st UK 130,395 km² Population – Total (mid-2004) – Total (2001...

Chernobyl after the accident

The completed (but crumbling) sarcophagus surrounding Chernobyl Reactor 4, viewed from the Northwest.
The completed (but crumbling) sarcophagus surrounding Chernobyl Reactor 4, viewed from the Northwest.

The trouble at the Chernobyl plant itself did not end with the disaster in Reactor No. 4. The damaged reactor was sealed off and 200 metres of concrete were placed between the disaster site and the operational buildings. The Ukrainian government continued to let the three remaining reactors operate because of an energy shortage in the country. A fire broke out in Reactor No. 2 in 1991; the authorities subsequently declared the reactor damaged beyond repair and had it taken offline. Reactor No. 1 was decommissioned in November 1996 as part of a deal between the Ukrainian government and international organizations such as the IAEA to end operations at the plant. In November 2000, Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma personally turned off the switch to Reactor No. 3 in an official ceremony, effectively shutting down the entire plant. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1215x913, 155 KB) Summary Author is Sytyanov Aleksey. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1215x913, 155 KB) Summary Author is Sytyanov Aleksey. ... IAEA The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), established as an autonomous organization on July 29, 1957, seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy and to inhibit its use for military purposes. ... Leonid Kuchma Leonid Danylovych Kuchma (in Ukrainian: Леонід Данилович Кучма) (born August 9, 1938) was the second President of Ukraine from July 19, 1994, to January 23, 2005. ...


The need for future repairs

The sarcophagus is not an effective permanent enclosure for the destroyed reactor. Its hasty construction, in many cases conducted remotely with industrial robots, means it is aging badly, and if it collapses, another cloud of radioactive dust could be released. The sarcophagus is so badly damaged that a small earth tremor or severe winds could cause the roof to collapse. A number of plans have been discussed for building a more permanent enclosure. A humanoid robot manufactured by Honda. ...


According to official estmates, about 95% of the fuel (about 180 tonnes) in the reactor at the time of the accident remains inside the shelter, with a total radioactivity of nearly 18 million curies (670 PBq). The radioactive material consists of core fragments, dust, and lava-like "fuel-containing materials" (FCM) that flowed through the wrecked reactor building before hardening into a ceramic form. By conservative estimates, there are at least four tons of radioactive dust inside the shelter. However, more recent estimates have strongly questioned the previously held assumptions regarding the quantity of fuel remaining in the reactor. Some estimates now place the total quantity of fuel in the reactor at only about 70% of the original fuel load, however the IAEA maintains that less than 5% of the fuel was lost due to the explosion. Moreover, some liquidators estimate that only 5-10% of the original fuel load remains inside the sarcophagus. A tonne (symbol t), sometimes referred to as a metric tonne, is a measurement of weight. ... The curie (symbol Ci) is a former unit of radioactivity, defined as 3. ... The becquerel (symbol Bq) is the SI derived unit of radioactivity, defined as the activity of a quantity of radioactive material in which one nucleus decays per second. ...


Water continues to leak into the shelter, spreading radioactive materials throughout the wrecked reactor building and potentially into the surrounding groundwater. The basement of the reactor building is slowly filling with water that is contaminated with nuclear fuel and is considered high-level radioactive waste. Though repairs were undertaken to fix some of the most gaping holes that had formed in the roof, it is by no means watertight, and will only continue to deteriorate.


The sarcophagus, while not airtight, heats up much more readily than it cools down. This is contributing to rising humidity levels inside the shelter. The high humidity inside the shelter continues to erode the concrete and steel of the sarcophagus.


Further, dust is becoming an increasing problem within the shelter. Radioactive particles of varying size, most of similar consistency to ash make up a large portion of the debris inside the shelter. Convection currents compounded with increasing intrusion of outside airflow are increasingly stirring up and suspending the particles in the air inside the shelter. The installation of air filtration systems in 2001 has reduced the problem, but not eliminated it.


Consequences of further collapse

The present shelter is constructed atop the ruins of the reactor building. The two "Mammoth Beams" that support the roof of the shelter are resting upon the structurally unsound West wall of the reactor building that was damaged by the accident. If the wall of the reactor building and subsequently the roof of the shelter were to collapse, then tremendous amounts of radioactive dust and particles would be released directly into the atmosphere, resulting in a devastating new release of radiation into the surrounding environment.


A further threat to the shelter is the concrete slab that formed the "Upper Biological Shield" (UBS), and rested atop the reactor prior to the accident. This concrete slab was thrown upwards by the explosion in the reactor core and now rests at approximately 15 degrees from vertical. The position of the upper bioshield is considered inherently unsafe, in that only debris is supporting it in a nearly upright position. The collapse of the bioshield would further exacerbate the dust conditions in the shelter, would probably spread some quantity of radioactive materials out of the shelter, and could damage the shelter itself.


The sarcophagus was never designed to last for the 100,000 years needed to contain the radioactivity found within the remains of reactor unit 4. While present designs for a new shelter anticipate a lifetime of up to 100 years, that time is minuscule compared to the lifetime of the radioactive materials within the reactor. The construction of a permanent sarcophagus that can entomb the remains of unit 4 will undoubtedly present a daunting challenge to engineers for many generations to come.


The Chernobyl Fund and the Shelter Implementation Plan

A conceptual rendering of the New Safe Confinement to replace the aging sarcophagus.
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A conceptual rendering of the New Safe Confinement to replace the aging sarcophagus.

The Chernobyl Shelter Fund was established in 1997 at the Denver G7 summit to fund the Shelter Implementation Fund. The Shelter Implementation Plan (SIP) calls for transforming the site into an ecologically safe condition through stabilisation of the sarcophagus, followed by construction of a New Safe Confinement (NSC). The original cost estimate for the SIP was US$768 million. The SIP is being managed by a consortium of Bechtel, Battelle, and Electricité de France, and conceptual design for the NSC consists of a movable arch, constructed away from the shelter to avoid high radiation, to be slid over the sarcophagus. The NSC will be the largest movable structure ever built, and is expected to be completed in early 2008. Dimensions Span: 270m Height: 100m Length: 150m Image File history File links New-Safe-Confinement. ... Image File history File links New-Safe-Confinement. ... The Concept Rendering of the NSC The New Safe Confinement (NSC or New Shelter) is the containment structure developed as part of the Shelter Implementation Plan funded by the Chernobyl Shelter Fund, intended to contain the radioactive remains of Chernobyl Unit 4 for the next 100 years. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The Group of Eight (G8) consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and the Russian Federation. ... The Shelter Implementation Plan (SIP) was developed developed in a co-operative effort between the European Union, the United States and Ukraine, is to protect the personnel, population and environment from the threat of the huge radioactive inventory of the Chernobyl Unit 4 Shelter. ... Stone sarcophagus of Pharaoh Merenptah Detail of a stone sarcophagus in the Istanbul Archeological Museum showing a hunting scene Anthropoid sarcophagus discovered at Cádiz A sarcophagus is a stone container for a coffin or body. ... The Concept Rendering of the NSC The New Safe Confinement (NSC or New Shelter) is the containment structure developed as part of the Shelter Implementation Plan funded by the Chernobyl Shelter Fund, intended to contain the radioactive remains of Chernobyl Unit 4 for the next 100 years. ...


Chernobyl in the popular consciousness

The Chernobyl accident riveted international attention. Around the world, people read the story and were profoundly affected. As a result, "Chernobyl" has entered the public consciousness in a number of different ways.


Political outcome

The Chernobyl accident was clearly a major disaster, and it received worldwide media attention. The secrecy inherent in Soviet management was blamed for both the accident and the subsequent poor response; the accident, it is argued, hastened the demise of the Soviet Union. Public awareness of the risks of nuclear power increased significantly. Organizations, both pro- and anti-nuclear, have made great efforts to sway public opinion. Casualty figures, reactor safety estimates, and estimates of the risks associated to other reactors differ greatly depending on which position is favoured by the author of any given document. For example, the UN scientific committee on the effects of radiation has publicly criticised the UN office on humanitarian affairs with respect to some of its publications. The true facts of the affair are therefore rather difficult to uncover. It is, however, fair to say that the accident sparked interest in alternative forms of energy production and nuclear phase-out. Future energy development face great challenges due to an increasing world population, demands for higher standards of living, demands for less pollution and a much discussed end to fossil fuels. ... A nuclear power plant at Grafenrheinfeld, Germany. ...


Chernobyl and the Bible

Because of a controversial translation of "chernobyl" as wormwood, some people believe that the Chernobyl accident was mentioned in the Bible: Chernobyl area. ... Species See text Artemisia is a large, diverse genus of plant with about 180 species belonging to the Sunflower family Asteraceae. ... The Bible (Hebrew: תנ״ך tanakh, Greek: η Βίβλος hē biblos) (sometimes The Holy Bible, The Book, Word of God, The Word Scripture, Scripture), from Greek (τα) βίβλια, (ta) biblia, (the) books, is the name used by Jews and Christians for their (differing but overlapping) canons of sacred texts. ...


And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; and the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter. — Revelation 8:10-11


The story appears to have spread to the West with a New York Times article by Serge Schmemann (Chernobyl Fallout: Apocalyptic Tale, July 25, 1986) in which an unnamed "prominent Russian writer" was quoted as claiming the Ukrainian word for wormwood was chernobyl. The New York Times is a newspaper published in New York City by Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. ... July 25 is the 206th day (207th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, with 159 days remaining. ... 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The name of the city comes from the Ukrainian word for mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris), which is chornobyl. As a result, chornobyl has been translated by some to simply mean wormwood. This translation is a matter of extreme controversy. Binomial name Artemisia vulgaris L. Mugwort or Common Wormwood (Artemisia vulgaris) is a species from the daisy family Asteraceae. ...


Computer virus

The CIH computer virus was popularly named "the Chernobyl virus" by many in the media, after the fact that the v1.2 variant activated on April 26 of each year: the anniversary of the Chernobyl accident. However, this is simply because of a coincidence with the virus author's birthday. CIH, also known as Chernobyl or Spacefiller, is a computer virus written by Chen Ing Hau of Taiwan. ... April 26 is the 116th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (117th in leap years). ...


Impact on popular culture

Poster of Star Trek VI.
Poster of Star Trek VI.

The story of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country is closely tied to the Chernobyl accident and ultimate peace between the U.S. and Russia. This was played in the Star Trek universe by having the Klingon Empire experience a similar cataclysmic accident, and having to seek refuge with former enemies, the United Federation of Planets (humans, Vulcans and a variety of other species). This led to doubts about peace on both sides, and how those doubters attempted to destroy the developing peace. DVD Cover for Star Trek VI This is a DVD cover. ... DVD Cover for Star Trek VI This is a DVD cover. ... Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (Paramount Pictures, 1991; see also 1991 in film) is the sixth feature film based on the popular Star Trek science fiction television series. ... This page is about the race. ... In the Star Trek fictional universe, the United Federation of Planets (UFP) – widely referred to and known as merely the Federation – is an interstellar federal state of more than 150 member planets and thousands of colonies. ...


In the 1988 film Scrooged, when the Marley-esque character visits Bill Murray's Scrooge-like character, Murray says the ghostly visitor is just "a hallucination brought on by alcohol, Russian vodka, poisoned by Chernobyl." 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Scrooged is a hit 1988 comedy film based on Charles Dickens classic story, A Christmas Carol, and follows the Dickens story closely, but sets it in modern times. ... Bill Murray in Broken Flowers (2005). ... Look up Vodka in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


In a second season episode of FOX's hit show The X-Files called "The Host," Mulder and Scully encounter the famous Fluke Man, a mutated flukeworm/humanoid hybrid. The creature is later found out to have been created as a result of the Chernobyl accident. The X-Files was a popular American television series created by Chris Carter. ... Fox Mulder Fox Spooky Mulder (b. ... Dr. Dana Katherine Scully (February 23, 1964 -) is a fictional character on the television series The X-Files, played by Gillian Anderson. ...


In the Millennium episode, "Maranatha", a Russian agent calling himself Yaponchik is shown sabotaging the experiment and causing the meltdown. Millennium is a grim, suspenseful television series, produced by the creator of The X-Files and set during the run-up to the new millennium. ...


In the 1998 film Godzilla, the Matthew Broderick character is taking a worm sample from the Chernobyl area to test for mutations. 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean. ...


The upcoming video game S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl is another example of the Chernobyl accident impacting upon popular culture with the game being set inside the Chernobyl exclusion zone with people called "stalkers" (in homage to the Russian movie Stalker) go inside the Chernobyl exclusion zone to search for valuable items. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl is an unreleased FPS computer game. ...


References

  1. a b IAEA Report. In Focus: Chernobyl. URL accessed on 2006-03-29.
  2. a b c ((French)) "Selon un rapport indépendant, les chiffres de l'ONU sur les victimes de Tchernobyl ont été sous-estimés (According to an independent report, UN numbers on Chernobyl's victims has been underestimated)", Le Monde, April 7, 2006. and see also "'On n’a pas fini d’entendre parler de Tchernobyl', interview with Angelika Claussen, head of the German section of the IPPNW", Arte, April 13, 2006.
  3. "Greenpeace rejects Chernobyl toll", BBC News, April 18, 2006.
  4. Глава 4. КАК ЭТО БЫЛО
  5. Chernobyl source term, atmospheric dispersion, and dose estimation, EnergyCitationsDatabase, November 1, 1989
  6. OECD Papers Volume 3 Issue 1, OECD, 2003
  7. "Chernobyl's silent graveyards", BBC News, BBC, April 20,2006.
  8. a b c TORCH report executive summary. European Greens and UK scientists Ian Fairlie PhD and David Sumner. URL accessed on April 21, 2006. (page 3)
  9. Chapter IV: Dose estimates, Nuclear Energy Agency, 2002
  10. Post-Chernobyl Monitoring and Controls Survey Report. UK Food Standards Agency. URL accessed on April 19, 2006.
  11. "Chernobyl fallout: internal doses to the Norwegian population and the effect of dietary advice", Strand P, Selnaes TD, Boe E, Harbitz O, Andersson-Sorlie A., National Institute of Radiation Hygiene, Osteras, Norway
  12. For full coverage see the IAEA Focus Page (op.cit.) and joint IAEA/WHO/UNDP September 5, 2005 press release Chernobyl: The True Scale of the Accident
  13. TORCH report executive summary, op.cit., p.4
  14. Chernobyl 'caused Sweden cancers', BBC News, November 20, 2004
  15. WHO Chernobyl report 2006 pdf
  16. Concerning human minisatellite mutation rate after the Chernobyl accident, the Nature April 2006 article quotes "Human minisatellite mutation rate after the Chernobyl accident", Nature n°380, April 25, 1996. URL accessed on April 21, 2006.
  17. Tokaimura Criticality Accident. World Nuclear Association. URL accessed on April 20, 2006.

2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... March 29 is the 88th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (89th in Leap years). ... Le Monde is a French daily evening newspaper with a circulation in 2002 of 389,200. ... Arte is a Franco-German TV network, which aims to promote quality programming related to the world of arts and culture. ... The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organization of those developed countries that accept the principles of representative democracy and a free market economy. ... European Greens is the name of the European Green Party, a political party at European level. ... The Nuclear Energy Agency is an intergovernmental multinational agency that is organized under the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. ... The Food Standards Agency is a non-ministerial government department of the Government of the United Kingdom. ... The current BBC News logo BBC News and Current Affairs (sometimes abbreviated BBC NCA) is a major arm of the BBC responsible for the corporations newsgathering and production of news programmes on BBC television, radio and online. ... First title page, November 4, 1869 Nature is one of the oldest and most reputable scientific journals, first published on 4 November 1869. ...

See also

Pathways from airborne radioactive contamination to man // This article covers notable accidents involving nuclear devices and radioactive materials. ... Yuri Bandazhevsky, born on January 9, 1957 in Belarus, is a scientist working on sanitary consequences of the Chernobyl accident. ...

External links

General information

  • 2006 TORCH full report (in pdf)
  • Chernobyl's Legacy (PDF, 902KB) by the Chernobyl Forum (UN) updated in 2006
  • The Chernobyl Catastrophe: Consequences on Human Health (PDF, 1.8MB) by Greenpeace International, April 2006.
  • Health, Environmental and Socio-Economic Impacts – a summary for non-specialists of the above report by GreenFacts
  • Better World Links on the Chernobyl Disaster - 100 links
  • BBC h2g2 giving a detailed description of events
  • Fall-out data in 19 zones from Austria to Eastern USA
  • The International Chernobyl Research and Information Network
  • Western responsibility regarding the health consequences of the Chernobyl catastrophe in Belyorussia, the Ukraine and Russia
  • Frequently Asked Chernobyl Questions, by the IAEA
  • Official UN Chernobyl site
  • The Human Consequences of the Chernobyl Accident: A Strategy for Recovery - UN Report, 2002 (PDF, 350KB)
  • Nuclear Files.org Anti-nuclear organization's comments on human toll
  • The Chernobyl Disaster - including some discussion of the disagreements within the UN organization about its publications, Stanford University
  • Chernobyl - A Canadian Perspective (PDF 405KB) - A brochure describing nuclear reactors in general and the RBMK design in particular, focusing on the safety differences between them and CANDU reactors. Published by the CANDU organization.
  • Tacis Nuclear Safety Programme, Overview of Chernobyl related projects European Union Chernobyl-related TACIS Projects with Budget estimates
  • Annotated bibliography for Chernobyl from the Alsos Digital Library for Nuclear Issues
  • survey about the nuclear disaster with updated results

To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A kilobyte (derived from the SI prefix kilo-, meaning 1000) is a unit of information or computer storage equal to either 1024 or 1000 bytes. ... This article is about the United Nations, for other uses of UN see UN (disambiguation) Official languages English, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Arabic Secretary-General Kofi Annan (since 1997) Established October 24, 1945 Member states 191 Headquarters New York City, NY, USA Official site http://www. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A megabyte is a unit of information or computer storage equal to approximately one million bytes. ... Greenpeace is an international environmental organization founded in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 1971. ... Logo of the GreenFacts website GreenFacts, formerly the GreenFacts Foundation, is an international non-profit organization founded in 2001 in Brussels, Belgium. ... IAEA The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), established as an autonomous organization on July 29, 1957, seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy and to inhibit its use for military purposes. ... United Nations - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A kilobyte (derived from the SI prefix kilo-, meaning 1000) is a unit of information or computer storage equal to either 1024 or 1000 bytes. ... The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly known as Stanford University (or simply Stanford), is a private university located approximately 37 miles (60 kilometers) southeast of San Francisco in an [1] of Santa Clara County. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A kilobyte (derived from the SI prefix kilo-, meaning 1000) is a unit of information or computer storage equal to either 1024 or 1000 bytes. ... The CANDU reactor is a pressurized-heavy water, natural-uranium power reactor designed in the 1960s by a partnership between Atomic Energy of Canada Limited and the Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario as well as several private industry participants. ... TACIS is an abbreviation of Technical Aid to CIS program, an institutional restructuring program implemented by the European Commission to help the newly independent states that once comprised the USSR, on their transition to market-oriented economy. ...

Event & technical analysis

  • Detailed analysis of the events, Georgia State University
  • Another take on the sequence of events at Chernobyl, Uranium Information Centre (nuclear power industry group), Melbourne, Australia.
  • Another account of the incident, World Nuclear Association
  • Technical information concerning the accident, as well as a contrast between the RBMK reactor design that of American reactors, University of Pittsburgh + *
  • Harvard Medical School study on Radiation and Chernobyl
  • Radioecology and the Chernobyl Disaster, January 2003. Covers impact on the UK
  • ((Russian)) Alternative opinion about the Chernobyl catastrophe reasons - The English version is being prepared.
  • Lessons A global perspective and knowledgeable comments on the lessons to be learnt, honestly pro-nuclear
  • Details of the events leading up to the accident and the aftermath
  • ((Polish)) Czarnobyl
  • WNC reactor Issue Brief - Short technical analysis of the RBMK reactor design and changes made after accident, World Nuclear Association

Georgia State University (GSU) is an urban research university in the heart of downtown Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Founded in 1913, it serves over 28,000 students, and is one of The University System of Georgias four research universities. ... The City of Melbournes coat of arms The central business district of Melbourne, viewed from the north Alternate meanings: Melbourne (disambiguation) Melbourne is the capital and largest city of the state of Victoria, and the second largest city in Australia, with a population of 52,117 in the Central... The University of Pittsburgh is a state-related, doctoral/research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. ...

Witness accounts (before and after)

  • 20 Years 20 Lives - Eyewitness accounts in words and photographs
  • A female tourist's account, in photos, the veracity of which has been questioned. See Elena Filatova
  • ((Russian)) Pripyat town forum
  • Interview with Alexander Yuvchenko - an engineer working in Chernobyl on 26th April 1986
  • Cheating Chernobyl - New Scientist magazine interviews former Ukrainian president Alexander Yuvchenko
  • Mary Mycio's Account of the Zone - Wormwood Forest: A Natural History of Chernobyl

Elena (Lena) Filatova (Russian: Елена Филатова) (born 1974) is a Ukrainian motorcyclist who gained Internet fame in 2004 under the nickname KiddOfSpeed after her web site was mentioned at Slashdot and other online news sources. ... New Scientist cover - 18 December 2004 New Scientist is a weekly international science magazine covering recent developments in science and technology for a general English-speaking audience. ...

Photography/Videography

  • Photos from Pripyat city and Chernobyl zone 2 trips in 2005 by www.opuszczone.com
  • BBC On This Day: Including recordings of the first public announcement
  • Zone of Exclusion: Pripyat and Chernobyl - Review of this book, with sample photo gallery shot in the dead zone in 2001
  • ((Russian)) More Dead Zone pictures
  • Photos from the deserted town of Pryp'yat
  • 2006 images of Chernobyl today
  • Photos from the deserted town of Pripyat
  • Chernobyl Gallery - Several images, many from inside the reactor.
  • Chernobyl Heart (2003) - Academy Award-winning documentary
  • BBC Horizon documentary 'Inside Chernobyl's Sarcophagus', 1996. Footage and comment by Russian scientists conducting dangerous research in and around the burnt-out core.
  • ((English))/((Ukrainian)) Wormwood Forest: A Natural History of Chernobyl - a commercial site, however, containing free-access contamination maps and photogallery
  • Stone, Richard, "The Long Shadow of Chernobyl", National Geographic, 2006-03-28, pp. 21. URL accessed on 2006-03-28.
  • Nine Network Australia, 60 Minutes, 'Inside Chernobyl', air date April 16, 2006. Reporter Richard Carlton goes inside the control centre at Chernobyl and also visits the exclusion zone surrounding the plant. Focuses on the 1986 incident, the failing 'sarcophagus' and yet-to-be-realised plans to replace it, and the affected children in orphanages in nearby Belarus

Horizon is a long-running BBC popular science and history documentary programme, notable for coining the term supervolcano. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... March 28 is the 87th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (88th in Leap years). ...

Charitable and voluntary organizations concerned with the effects

  • Chernobyl Children's Project International - subject of documentary "Chernobyl Heart."
  • Aid Convoy - UK-based humanitarian aid to Ukraine
  • List of charities primarily supporting Belyorussia but also Ukraine
  • Our Generation - Youth group with education and volunteering projects
  • Aratta - Public organisation supporting children and families
  • SOS Belarus: The only big NGO still working in Belarus post Chernobyl
  • BELRAD Institute - Radiation safety and protection institute
  • Professor Yuri Bandazhevsky - Pathophysiology of incorporated radioactive emission


  Results from FactBites:
 
Chernobyl accident - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (6145 words)
The Chernobyl station (51°23′14″N, 30°06′41″E) is situated at the settlement of Pripyat, Ukraine, 11 miles (18 km) northwest of the city of Chernobyl, 10 miles (16 km) from the border of Ukraine and Belarus, and about 70 miles (110 km) north of Kiev.
In January 1993, the IAEA issued a revised analysis of the Chernobyl accident, attributing the main root cause to the reactor's design and not to operator error.
The Chernobyl Shelter Fund was established in 1997 at the Denver G7 summit to fund the Shelter Implementation Fund.
Chernobyl - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1078 words)
Chernobyl (Ukrainian: Chornobyl (Чорно́биль), Russian Chernobyl (Черно́быль) is a city in northern Ukraine, near the border with Belarus (51°16′0″N, 30°13′60″E).
Chernobyl roots were used in folk medicine for deworming and to heal neurotic conditions, although an overdose could lead to neurological disorders, including memory loss.
Chernobyl remains inhabited by a small number of residents who decided to return to their homes after the accident, but the majority of the evacuated population now live in specially constructed towns such as Slavutich.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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