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Chernobyl: Understanding Consequences of Playing With The Poison Fire

    “For millions of people on this planet, the explosion of the fourth reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on April 26, 1986 divided life into two parts: before and after. The Chernobyl catastrophe was the occasion for technological adventurism and heroism on the part of the “liquidators,” the personnel who worked at the site attempting to contain the escaping radiation, and, in our view, for cowardice on the part of people in public life who were afraid to warn the population of the unimaginable threat to innocent victims. Chernobyl has become synonymous with human suffering and has brought new words into our lives—Chernobyl liquidators, children of Chernobyl, Chernobyl AIDs, Chernobyl contamination, Chernobyl heart, Chernobyl dust, and Chernobyl collar (thyroid disease), etc.
    “For the past 23 years it has been clear that there is a danger greater than nuclear weapons concealed within nuclear power. Emissions from this one reactor exceeded a hundredfold the radioactive contamination of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. No citizen of any country can be assured that he or she can be protected from radioactive contamination. One nuclear reactor can pollute half the globe. Chernobyl fallout covered the entire Northern Hemisphere.”
—Introduction: The Difficult Truth about Chernobyl, page 1,
Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment,
Alexey V. Yablokov, Vassily B. Nesterenko, Alexey V. Nesterenko,
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Volume 1181, December 2009, 335 Pages.
Critical Analysis
Sources & excerpts
Documentary Films & Programs
Humanitarian Organizations & add’l sources
Surface ground deposition of caesium-137 released in Europe after the Chernobyl accident.
© EC/IGCE Roshydromet (Russia)/Minchernobyl (Ukraine)/Belhydromet (Belarus), 1998; adapted from European Union 1998

In early morning 26 April 1986 the number 4 reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine went critical and detonated, releasing more than 9 million terabecquerels (TBq) of radionuclides over much (>200,000 km2) of Europe and eastern Russia. In the September 1986 American Chemical Society Symposium on Low-Level Radiation, John W. Gofman, M.D., Ph.D., in describing what was at that time, The Single Most Serious Industrial Accident Ever, stated:
It is correct to say that a single event—the Chernobyl accident—has caused between 600,000 and a million cases of cancer and leukemia. The radio-cesiums are on the ground, and humans are committed to receive the doses from them. To the extent that a share of the dose has already been received, a share of the malignancies is already underway, even though they will not become manifest, clinically, for years.
     The Chernobyl accident obviously represents the most serious industrial tragedy in the history of mankind, and by a very large factor....
     We can predict with high confidence that an honest study of the proposed population sample will simply confirm—but decades from now—the magnitude of radiation production of cancer, a magnitude we know quite well prior to such a study.
     The existing human evidence provides a solid basis for assessing the Chernobyl toll. The credible lower-limit of malignancies from the cesium fallout is approximately 640,000 cases, and a credible upper-limit is probably 1,600,000 malignancies. Only additional and reliable measurements of cesium fallout, made by independent scientists, can narrow the range.
Twenty-three years later, Dr. Gofman’s projections were borne out with the compendium release of Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment which concluded 985,000 people died between 1986 and 2004 as a result of the release into the biosphere of radioactive matter from the detonation of Unit 4’s reactor core. Janette D. Sherman, M.D., a physician and toxicologist, specializing in chemicals and nuclear radiation that cause cancer and birth defects, was asked by senior author Alexey Yablokov to be the Contributing Editor for an English edition because the original was published in Russian. As she wrote in 2011:
On the 20th anniversary of Chernobyl, WHO and the IAEA published the “Chernobyl Forum Report,” mentioning only 350 sources, mainly from the English literature, while in reality there are more than 30,000 publications and up to 170,000 sources that address the consequences of Chernobyl. By 2006, there had been 10 major publications concerning Chernobyl published in England, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and the United States, with scientists currently publishing new data.
     After waiting two decades for the findings of Chernobyl to be recognized by the United Nations, three scientists, Alexey Yablokov, Vasily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko undertook the task to collect, abstract and translate some 5,000 articles reported by multiple scientists, who observed first-hand the effects from the fallout. These had been published largely in Slavic languages and not previously available in translation. The result was Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment, published by the New York Academy of Sciences in 2009.
Radioactive contamination of the biosphere, of course, affected all Life forms, not just human as is demonstrated in reports of studies by Dr. Timothy Mousseau[1][2] and colleagues[1][2], among others (e.g., Chapter III. Consequences of the Chernobyl Catastrophe for the Environment from Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment). A significant barrier preventing addressing the health impacts and concerns by adequately responding to the agony and suffering caused by the catastrophe at Chernobyl is from nuclear proponents who still promote the deceptions that nuclear power is safe, clean, carbon free, and a viable solution to the deepening ecological crisis including global overheat. As Dr. Yuri Bandazhevsky wrote in 2018:
Thirty-three years have passed since the accident at Reactor 4 at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, yet the seriousness of this event for all humanity is still of concern. During the whole post-accident period, the nuclear lobby made many efforts to weaken public interest in this event....
          The Institute for Congenital and Hereditary Diseases, Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus, directed by Prof. G. I. Lazjuk, Associate Member of the National Academy of Sciences, also assessed the effect of a radiation factor occurred as a result of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident on the prenatal development of human embryos. Gennady Ilyich established this unique Institute back in Soviet times, and over the years, along with his highly qualified students and colleagues he studied the morphological manifestations (congenital defects) of human genetic disorders, also in the context of consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident. The Institute was closed down in the beginning of the 21st century, as the nuclear lobby was afraid of results of its activities....
          Almost every inhabitant of the Republic of Belarus has experienced radiation exposure directly. So it is no surprise that there has been an increase in cardiovascular diseases and cancers due to this, including among children of the second post-Chernobyl generation.
          That is why the country’s leadership should have asked for serious humanitarian aid and support of the world community in the 1990s and not refused it, as it was done. A method of assessment of radiation doses received by the population and individuals formed the basis for governmental decisions to render assistance to the population with a view to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident. A concept based on results of effects of external radiation exposure on humans was used. The influence of incorporated radionuclides on separate organs and systems was hardly considered. However, millions of people have suffered and are suffering currently because radioactive elements have been entering and are entering their body causing damage to vital organs and systems. These people are not recognized as victims of the Chernobyl disaster at the state level.
          This is the main problem of Chernobyl and its negative impact on human health in the long term.
(Emphasis added.)
Iniencephaly as a result of radiation exposure. Photograph reproduced with permission of Dr Wladimir Wertelecki. See Dr. Wertelecki’s film presentation, Congenital Malformations in Rivne Polossia and the Chernobyl Accident, given at March 2013 Symposium: The Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident).

Critical Analysis
“We did not yet possess a system of imagination, analogies, words or experiences for the catastrophe of Chernobyl.”
Svetlana Alexiyevich, writer from Belarus, 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature laureate
The Chernobyl and Fukushima catastrophes have caused, are causing, and will continue to cause living and dying agony and nightmares for untold generations and millenia. The purpose of this archive of historically significant source materials is to assist younger people—and as many others as possible—in learning about our true history, how our world actually operates, and re-mind how we must collectively weigh the consequences of every decision our species makes, reflecting on and being informed by the vital numinous awareness that all Life is sacred, and that the needs of the future, of all life yet unborn, must guide every choice and decision made in the present.

A good introduction to this history is “Chernobyl: Consequences of the catastrophe 25 years later” by Janette D. Sherman, M.D., and Alexey V. Yablokov, Ph.D.

Chronological Timeline of Included Sources
On the second sarcophagus covering Reactor 4 ...
and the longevity of lethal Radioactivity After Chernobyl Accident that will last for hundreds, thousands, and tens of thousands of years
The arch is a vast project – “the largest movable structure to be built in the history of mankind”, as one of those involved has called it.
    But critics argue it is a little more than a carpet to sweep the main problem under, because the fuel within the wrecked reactor will simply be left as it is.
    “The new, stable and environmentally safe structure will contain the remains of the reactor for at least 100 years,” says a press release from the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, which will disburse the 840 million euros ($1bn) the arch is expected to cost.
    “During (this) time an even longer-lasting solution to the Chernobyl problem must be found.”
    To Mykhailo Khodorivsky, a member of a consortium which in the 1990s investigated ways of removing the fuel, this seems like storing up problems for the future.
    The arch will last for 100 to 300 years, while the fuel will remain deadly for thousands.
    “A new confinement is necessary, but it does not tackle the root of the problem,” Mr Khodorivsky says. “Our conclusion was that in 100 years the problem will not get simpler.”
    For one thing, some of the plutonium will be decaying into americium, which is even more hazardous for health.
    “If nothing is done with the fuel, and the arch is contaminated from the inside, what do you do when it gets old?” he asks. “Build an even bigger one on top?”
from: “Chernobyl’s continuing hazards,” Stephen Mulvey, BBC News, 25 apr 2006
2011: 25-year mark of catastrophe

SOURCES  &  excerpts

New issues of the Chernobyl: ECOLOGY AND HEALTH festschrift #8 in Ukrainian and #9 in English
“Life in Ukraine will never the the same” By Joelle & Chelsea []
Because the issue is credibility—not the data—but is the credibility of the data. For [example], those who teach and have students or young researchers, I think the news releases by the WHO or the IAEA are masterpieces of language manipulation. I would like to call your attention that IAEA now is basically behind WHO so their declarations now are given to the young people in the name of the World Health Organization to which they should trust because if they don’t trust the World Health Organization then how can they trust much else?
—Dr. Wladimir Wertelecki (at 01:30), Congenital Malformations in Rivne Polossia and the Chernobyl Accident,
Helen Caldicott Foundation Fukushima Symposium,
New York Academy of Medicine, 12 March 2013

Healthy Scots Pine Forest

Abnormal Scots pine trees (Pinus sylvestris) from Chernobyl
From slides 5 and 6 of Prof. Tim Mousseau speaking at the 2016 IPPNW Chernobyl Congress, Berlin, on Recent Developments Concerning Impacts To Non-Human Biota in Fukushima.
“Chernobyl / Never Again / No Life / Why? / Radiation” []

Difference in width of tree rings in pine logs from Chernobyl. The year of the accident in 1986 is clearly visible from the change in the color of the wood.
From page 7Tree rings reveal extent of exposure to ionizing radiation in Scots pine Pinus sylvestris,” Mousseau, Welch, et al. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 11 June 2013:
“The change in tree growth rate at the time of the Chernobyl accident is clearly visible in pine logs from the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Growth varied significantly among years.... While growth varied little during 1914-1985 ..., there was considerably greater variation during 1986-2008.”
A version of this image dons the cover of Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment and is described in the 2011 edition: “Pine trees reveal changes in wood color, density, and growth rate following irradiation from the Chernobyl disaster. T.A. Mousseau, University of South Carolina (2009)”. (p.5)
Just One Part in a Thousand ?
       It may sound like a trifle to put only one part per thousand of a poison into the environment, but we will show what one part per thousand means with respect to radioactive cesium.
       The cesium-137 produced each year by a 1000-megawatt (electrical) nuclear power plant amounts to nearly 4 million curies. Since its radioactive half-life is 30.2 years, very little of it decays during a year.
       The Chernobyl reactor contained a two-year cesium-inventory of about 8 million curies. Recent estimates are that the Chernobyl reactor released about 2.5 million curies of cesium-137, which is equivalent to (2.5 / 4.0) or 62.5 % of a ONE-year inventory.
       Now let us consider 100 large nuclear power plants each operating in the USA for a lifespan of about 25 years each. Call "A" the yearly cesium-137 production by one plant. Then 100A = the yearly production by 100 plants. Lifetime production = 25 yrs x 100A/year = 2,500A. 99.9 % containment = release of 1 part per 1,000. With 99.9 % perfect containment, loss = 2.5A. Chernobyl lost 0.625A. The ratio of 2.5A and 0.625A is 4.0.
       This ratio, 4, has an enormous meaning. It means that achieving 99.9 % PERFECT containment of the cesium-137 produced by 100 plants during 25 years of operation, through all steps of the cesium’s handling up through final burial, would STILL result in cesium-137 contamination equivalent in curies to 4 Chernobyl accidents.
       Worldwide, there are about 400 plants underway, so the same scenario (99.9 % perfection in containing cesium) would mean cesium-loss equivalent to 16 Chernobyl accidents per 25 years of operation. And this assault on human health could occur without blowing the roof off any single plant.
—John Gofman, MD, PhD, Radiation-Induced Cancer from Low-Dose
Exposure: An Independent Analysis
, 1990,
Chapter 25, "Main Text: A Closing Statement"
Identifying the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. The sign reads “Forbidden Zone” or “The Zone Is Buried”
Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment
Written by Alexey V. Yablokov (Center for Russian Environmental Policy, Moscow, Russia),
Vassily B. Nesterenko (head of Ukrainian Nuclear estab. at time of accident (deceased)),
and Alexey V. Nesterenko (Institute of Radiation Safety, Minsk, Belarus).
Consulting Editor Janette D. Sherman-Nevinger (Environmental Institute,
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan).
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Volume 1181, December 2009, 335 Pages
local PDF copy of 2009 book [344 pages]
local PDF copy of 2011 Edition with Subject Index [387 pages]
2011 reprint with Subject Index entry points
  Foreword. By Prof. Dr. Biol. Dimitro M. Grodzinsky ....................................... vii
  Preface. By Alexey V. Yablokov and Vassily B. Nesterenko ............................. x
  Acknowledgments .......................................................................................... xiv
  Introduction: The Difficult Truth about Chernobyl. By Alexey V. Nesterenko,
       Vassily B. Nesterenko, and Alexey V. Yablokov .......................................
1. Chernobyl Contamination through Time and Space. By Alexey V. Yablokov
 and Vassily B. Nesterenko .............................................................................
2. Chernobyl’s Public Health Consequences: Some Methodological Problems.
 By Alexey V. Yablokov .................................................................................
3. General Morbidity, Impairment, and Disability after the Chernobyl
 Catastrophe. By Alexey V. Yablokov .............................................................
4. Accelerated Aging as a Consequence of the Chernobyl Catastrophe. By Alexey
 V. Yablokov .................................................................................................
5. Nonmalignant Diseases after the Chernobyl Catastrophe. By Alexey V.
 Yablokov ......................................................................................................
6. Oncological Diseases after the Chernobyl Catastrophe. By Alexey V.
 Yablokov ......................................................................................................
7. Mortality after the Chernobyl Catastrophe. By Alexey V. Yablokov .................. 192
Conclusion to Chapter II ....................................................................................... 217
8. Atmospheric, Water, and Soil Contamination after Chernobyl. By Alexey V.
 Yablokov, Vassily B. Nesterenko, and Alexey V. Nesterenko ..........................
9. Chernobyl’s Radioactive Impact on Flora. By Alexey V. Yablokov ................... 237
10. Chernobyl’s Radioactive Impact on Fauna. By Alexey V. Yablokov .................. 255
11. Chernobyl’s Radioactive Impact on Microbial Biota. By Alexey V.
 Yablokov ......................................................................................................
Conclusion to Chapter III ...................................................................................... 285
12. Chernobyl’s Radioactive Contamination of Food and People. By Alexey V.
 Nesterenko, Vassily B. Nesterenko, and Alexey V. Yablokov ..........................
13. Decorporation of Chernobyl Radionuclides. By Vassily B. Nesterenko and
 Alexey V. Nesterenko ...................................................................................
14. Protective Measures for Activities in Chernobyl’s Radioactively Contaminated
 Territories. By Alexey V. Nesterenko and Vassily B. Nesterenko ....................
15. Consequences of the Chernobyl Catastrophe for Public Health and the
 Environment 23 Years Later. By Alexey V. Yablokov, Vassily B. Nesterenko,
 and Alexey V. Nesterenko ............................................................................
Conclusion to Chapter IV .................................................................................... 327

Fukushima & Chernobyl: Joined At The Hip
Russian Biologist Reveals the Truth About Low-Dose Radiation Risks
May 2011 reprint of
Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment,

This book is the only publication to document non-cancer incidence and mortality in countries outside the Russian Federation, Ukraine, and Belarus and serves as a frame of reference and counterweight for officials who are obscuring the full scope of the Fukushima Dai-ichi disaster. First published by the prestigious New York Academy of Sciences (Nov. 2009 in its ANNALS), it is now out of print, causing lead author, eminent Russian biologist Doctor Alexey Yablokov, to request the right to reprint (recently granted). This reprint edition includes a separate index that was not part of the original book. Dr. Yablokov contacted his Consulting Editor, Dr. Janette D. Sherman-Nevinger, MD, and Dr. Timothy Mousseau, Associate Vice President for Research & Graduate Education, University of South Carolina, and asked them to be his agents in the U.S.

In her brief assessment Dr. Sherman ties Chernobyl to the current low-dose releases in Japan. “As we watch the events unfold at Fukushima Nuclear Plant in Japan, radioactive nuclides are spreading around the entire northern hemisphere. Professor Yablokov and his colleagues cite some 2,000 studies of wild and domestic animals, birds, fish, plants, trees, mushrooms, bacteria, viruses, and yes–humans–that were altered, some permanently as a result of the Chernobyl radioactive releases. Animals and humans developed similar abnormalities and diseases, including birth defects and cancers. Radioactive releases from Chernobyl continue today–25 years later. This book documents the never-ending perils from nuclear power.”

In a 25 March 2011 press conference in Washington, Dr. Yablokov observed that the long-term health and environmental consequences of the Fukushima accident could surpass those from Chernobyl. He stated, “Because the area is far more densely populated than around Chernobyl, the human toll could eventually be far worse in Japan. It’s especially dangerous if plutonium is released (reports say it has) as inhalation results in a high probability of cancer. A release of plutonium will contaminate that area forever and is impossible to clean up.”

  • Complete Text Transcript: Chernobyl: A Million Casualties
    Karl Grossman on EnviroVideo interviews Dr. Janette Sherman, recorded 5 March 2011
    A million people have died so far as a result of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear plant accident, explains Janette Sherman, M.D., toxicologist and contributing editor of the book Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment. Published by the New York Academy of Sciences, the book, authored by Dr. Alexey Yablokov, Dr. Vassily Nesterenko and Dr. Alexey Nesterenko, examined medical records now available – which expose as a lie the claim of the International Atomic Energy Commission that perhaps 4,000 people may die as a result of Chernobyl. Enviro Close-Up # 610 (29 mintes)
  • Karl Grossman, Global Research, 3 September 2010
    In his foreword, Dr. Dimitro Grodzinsky, chairman of the Ukranian National Commission on Radiation Protection, writes about how "apologists of nuclear power" sought to hide the real impacts of the Chernobyl disaster from the time when the accident occurred. The book "provides the largest and most complete collection of data concerning the negative consequences of Chernobyl on the health of people and the environment.... The main conclusion of the book is that it is impossible and wrong ‘to forget Chernobyl.’"...
              The book details the spread of radioactive poisons following the explosion of Unit 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear plant on April 26, 1986. These major releases only ended when the fire at the reactor was brought under control in mid-May. Emitted were "hundreds of millions of curies, a quantity hundreds of times larger than the fallout from the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki."...
              There is an examination of genetic impacts with records reflecting an increase in "chromosomal aberrations" wherever there was fallout. This will continue through the "children of irradiated parents for as many as seven generations." So "the genetic consequences of the Chernobyl catastrophe will impact hundreds of millions of people."...
              Further, "the concentrations" of some of the poisons, because they have radioactive half-lives ranging from 20,000 to 200,000 years, "will remain practically the same virtually forever."
              [Near the end of the book,] "The Chernobyl catastrophe demonstrates that the nuclear industry’s willingness to risk the health of humanity and our environment with nuclear power plants will result, not only theoretically, but practically, in the same level of hazard as nuclear weapons."
15.8. It Is Impossible to Forget Chernobyl
       1. The growing data about of the negative consequences of the Chernobyl catastrophe for public health and nature does not bode well for optimism. Without special large-scale national and international programs, morbidity and mortality in the contaminated territories will increase. Morally it is inexplicable that the experts associated with the nuclear industry claim: “It is time to forget Chernobyl.”
       2. Sound and effective international and national policy for mitigation and minimization of Chernobyl’s consequences must be based on the principle: “It is necessary to learn and minimize the consequences of this terrible catastrophe.”
Chapter 15. Consequences of the Chernobyl Catastrophe for Public Health and the Environment 23 Years Later, page 326.
  • Janettte D. Sherman, M. D., 31 May 2010
    The link between U. S. atomic veterans and Chernobyl victims is even closer. The Army’s Infantry School Quarterly asserted: "A soldier is not a casualty until he requires treatment. Even though he has been exposed to a lethal dose of radiation, he can perform his combat mission until symptoms appear." The 1987 Central Military Commission of the USSR Ministry of Defense declared: "The presence of acute somatic illness and activation of chronic disease in persons who were involved in liquidation (the clean up workers) who do not have acute radiation sickness, the effect of ionizing radiation should not be included in the causal relationship." Denial is a strong tool—it supports dangerous industries and denies relief to those who are harmed. But these actions are more than denial—these are lies....
              While the book documents the health and environmental devastation, the economic and political costs from the Chernobyl catastrophe have been enormous. With so many children physically and mentally stunted, many not even born at the time of the disaster, it will be very difficult for families to earn a living and maintain needed familial bonds, and with so much of the budget diverted to care for sick and disabled people, it will be difficult for citizens to develop an independent society that can make needed political, social and economic decisions. Who will challenge the status quo if most of a society is un-well, poorly educated, and impoverished? There was a collapse of the life expectancy in Russia, plunging to 57-59 for men during the 1990s, now 61 years as of 2009, largely blamed on the "collapse of the Soviet Union’" but what contributed to that collapse?
              It is impossible to understand that the U. S., one of the wealthiest countries in the world, could not pass into law provisions to extend medical care to all citizens, rich, poor, young and old, while at the same time some $54 billion has been proposed in loan guarantees to build seven new nuclear power plants, this on top of $18.5 billion in guarantees provided in 2005. With documented deterioration of health, lack of preventive and restorative medical care coupled with loss of economic stability for many citizens, it is a matter of a few years before the U. S. reaches a social calamity.
  • Environmental News Service, 26 April 2010
    Drawing upon extensive data, the authors estimate the number of deaths worldwide due to Chernobyl fallout from 1986 through 2004 was 985,000, a number that has since increased....
              Yablokov and his co-authors find that radioactive emissions from the stricken reactor, once believed to be 50 million curies, may have been as great as 10 billion curies, or 200 times greater than the initial estimate, and hundreds of times larger than the fallout from the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki....
              About 550 million Europeans, and 150 to 230 million others in the Northern Hemisphere received notable contamination. Fallout reached the United States and Canada nine days after the disaster....
              The authors of the study say not enough attention has been paid to Eastern European research studies on the effects of Chernobyl at a time when corporations in several nations, including the United States, are attempting to build more nuclear reactors and to extend the years of operation of aging reactors.
              The authors said in a statement, "Official discussions from the International Atomic Energy Agency and associated United Nations’ agencies (e.g. the Chernobyl Forum reports) have largely downplayed or ignored many of the findings reported in the Eastern European scientific literature and consequently have erred by not including these assessments."
  • Dr. Rosalie Bertell, Global Research, 12 February 2010
    The authors systematically explain the secrecy conditions imposed by the government, the failure of technocrats to collect data on the number and distribution of all of the radionuclides of major concern, and the restrictions placed on physicians against calling any medical findings radiation related unless the patient had been a certified “acute radiation sickness” patient during the disaster, thus assuring that only 1% of injuries would be so reported.
15.5. Chernobyl Releases and Environmental Consequences
       5. In 1986 the levels of irradiation in plants and animals in Western Europe, North America, the Arctic, and eastern Asia were sometimes hundreds and even thousands of times above acceptable norms. The initial pulse of high-level irradiation followed by exposure to chronic low-level radionuclides has resulted in morphological, physiological, and genetic disorders in all the living organisms in contaminated areas that have been studied—plants, mammals, birds, amphibians, fish, invertebrates, bacteria, and viruses....
       11. Wildlife in the heavily contaminated Chernobyl zone sometimes appears to flourish, but the appearance is deceptive. According to morphogenetic, cytogenetic, and immunological tests, all of the populations of plants, fishes, amphibians, and mammals that were studied there are in poor condition. This zone is analogous to a “black hole”—some species may only persist there via immigration from uncontaminated areas. The Chernobyl zone is the microevolutionary “boiler,” where gene pools of living creatures are actively transforming, with unpredictable consequences....
       13. For better understanding of the processes of transformation of the wildlife in the Chernobyl-contaminated areas, radiobiological and other scientific studies should not be stopped, as has happened everywhere in Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia, but must be extended and intensified to understand and help to mitigate expected and unexpected consequences.
Chapter 15. Consequences of the Chernobyl Catastrophe for Public Health and the Environment 23 Years Later, pages 323-324.
NIGTMARE IN CHERNOBYL” by Jacklyn Sauevdaé (sp?) []
“Welcome to Chernobyl # Do Not Enter!!! # ☠ Radiation” by Kimberly Kido []
So Sorry If We’re Wrong ...
          Some segments of the radiation community appear to believe passionately that no one should impede the nuclear enterprise on the basis of what they label as speculation and conjecture about injury from low doses and dose-rates. Instead, they ask the world to accept THEIR speculation and conjecture that low doses and dose-rates are safe—a notion which would surely result in increased exposures.
          But if the threshold speculation is wrong (as shown in this book), and nonetheless we contaminate the planet irreversibly with radioactive poisons, the results might be hundreds of millions of unnecessary cancers over time—as well as a presently unquantifiable price in heritable genetic damage.
—John Gofman, MD, PhD, Radiation-Induced Cancer from Low-Dose
Exposure: An Independent Analysis
, 1990,
Chapter 24, “Chernobyl: A Crossroad in the Radiation Health Sciences”
"De Minimis"—Beyond Radiation:
       Many people have observed that human nature incorporates some contradictory tendencies. It seems contradictory to me that, on the one hand, there is a readiness to inflict cancer-death on undetectable victims who will not be noticed, while there is a competing tendency which causes some people in Oakland, California, to risk their own lives on an unstable structure and work themselves to exhaustion following the October 1989 earthquake, just on the very slim chance that they might SAVE one life from under the collapsed freeway.
       People of goodwill need to look closely at the aggregate consequences of individually small risks. If pollution sources of all types are regulated individually, and each is allowed under the "de minimis" concept to kill one person in 100,000 (a low individual risk), then only 10,000 sources could kill up to one tenth of the population. And no one would ever be able to prove it.
—John Gofman, MD, PhD, Radiation-Induced Cancer from Low-Dose
Exposure: An Independent Analysis
, 1990,
Chapter 24, “Chernobyl: A Crossroad in the Radiation Health Sciences”

Documentary Films and Programs
Liquidators working to clear exposed radioactive graphite and other debris of the exploded reactor core from the roof of Reactor 3. After unsuccessful attempts with Russian, West German, and Japanese robots which failed due to extreme radiation levels, authorities made the decision that people had to do the work. A worker’s time limit was 40 seconds as radiation exposure at this level was, at that time, the maximum lifetime allowable dose.

Humanitarian Organizations & add’l sources
“We should all be Concerned • Chernobyl” by Michelle and Rachel []

15.9. Conclusion
U.S. President John F. Kennedy speaking about the necessity to stop atmospheric nuclear tests said in July 1963:
. . . The number of children and grandchildren with cancer in their bones, with leukemia in their blood, or with poison in their lungs might seem statistically small to some, in comparison with natural health hazards, but this is not a natural health hazard—and it is not a statistical issue. The loss of even one human life or the malformation of even one baby—who may be born long after we are gone—should be of concern to us all. Our children and grandchildren are not merely statistics toward which we can be indifferent.
[listen to excerpt and complete speech (25:38)]
The Chernobyl catastrophe demonstrates that the nuclear industry’s willingness to risk the health of humanity and our environment with nuclear power plants will result, not only theoretically, but practically, in the same level of hazard as nuclear weapons.
Chapter 15. Consequences of the Chernobyl Catastrophe for Public Health and the Environment 23 Years Later, page 326.


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