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A specter is haunting Europe. Ghost of Chernobyl

April 26 2006
06:53

Social and psychological problems after the accident were far more important than the radiological and medical. That is the conclusion made by scientists and psychologists after a comprehensive analysis of the consequences of the Chernobyl accident.

April 26, 1986 at a nuclear power plant near the small Ukrainian town of Chernobyl occurred the most terrible man-caused disaster in the history of mankind. Workers of an exemplary nuclear power plant was carried out testing of the emergency core cooling, deliberately turning off the emergency protection. After 44 seconds after the start of the experiment the reactor went out of control. 1000-ton slab that covered the 4 th unit, demolished by explosion. Graphite shell of the reactor caught fire and ...

Since then, twenty years have passed. In anticipation of this anniversary, scientists decided to get together and finally take stock of those distant events, identified by consequences for the population and economy, and property damage caused by the accident.

Deputy Director of the Institute of Safe Development of Nuclear Energy of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Nuclear Safety Institute) Igor Linge, in his speech noted that "compared to the Chernobyl radiation accident other factors, such as chronic psychological stress, the violation of a habitual way of life, loss of business and related the accident material losses caused to people much more damage than the radiological consequences. "

According to Ling, it is necessary to create conditions for development in many economic and social areas, because if everywhere in the country's situation would have been happy, then establish a life in the Chernobyl zone it would be easy. Same thing with the liquidators. All these people were older than 20 years. Those who were 40 - now in retirement. And whether the country is now a normal system of health care, many can be cured and not to allow a variety of complications.

Consequences of the accident for the population can be divided into two groups: the first - it's the stress of the accident and forced mobilization, fear of the consequences of irradiation. Second - increase in morbidity and disability among emergency due to poor social policy.

What are the answers science gives for radiological damage? Radiation dose and health - is a big topic, the science in this field has gained a tremendous amount of knowledge and gave quite a clear answer. Today we know that people who survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and received a fairly high dose, not only preserved the performance, but also on average live longer than their unexposed peers.

All this was told to Corresponding Member of RAMS, MD, Professor Angelina Guskov. She and other participants of the conference, said the social and psychological consequences of the worst for society. There is a huge the gap between scientific knowledge about the consequences of the accident and public opinion. The latter, in most cases is under the influence of the development of the Chernobyl mythology, having a distant relationship to the real consequences of the accident. "The coincidence of an accident with a period declared by the country's publicity generated at this point the vast majority of people's distrust of the media", - Mrs. Angelina Guskov.

Coordinating Director of the Kurchatov Institute, RAS Corresponding Member Viktor Sidorenko in his speech also stressed the importance of socio-economic consequences of the Chernobyl accident.According to him, this tragedy led to the suspension of the planned development of nuclear power in the Soviet Union and around the world, as well as the closure of existing nuclear power plants in different countries.

Speakers noted that due to inadequate perception of radiation danger in the world appeared peculiar to the Soviet era silence on the state of the causes and real consequences of the accident. Also, the flames poured ignorance of the population of the elementary foundations of physical processes in the field of nuclear energy, and in the field of radiation exposure. Provoked by the lack of objective information hysteria in the media and many social problems-union scale, which in due time became a good breeding ground for the rapid formation of the myths around Chernobyl, have led to a cautious attitude to today's data on the impact of the accident.

During the press conference, journalists had submitted an official Russian national report "20 Years of the Chernobyl disaster. Results and prospects of overcoming its consequences in Russia, where are collected and summarized the scientific data, namely their today and not enough for a full understanding of what happened April 26, 1986.

Maria Pavlikova

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