Chernobly

Topics: Chernobyl disaster, Radiation poisoning, Ionizing radiation Pages: 14 (9211 words) Published: April 27, 2014
Effects of the Chernobyl Catastrophe
-Literature ReviewDr. med. Alex Rosen
Heinrich-Heine University Clinic
Düsseldorf, Germany
January of 2006

I.)

Introduction

The Meltdown
On Saturday, April 26th, 1986 at 1:23 am, Block 4 of the nuclear power plant at Chernobyl exploded. The plant was located approximately 100 km north of the Ukrainian capital Kiev, near the border with Belarus. 180,000 kilograms of highly radioactive material is inside the reactor at the time - an amount equal to 1,000 Hiroshima bombs. About 1019 Bq of radioactive material – consisting of at least 200 different radioactive isotopes - was set loose into the atmosphere, 50 to 80% of this being 131Iodine.12 This nuclear fallout contaminated 23% of the state of Belarus, some parts of Russia and Ukraine, as well as regions of Poland, the Czech Republic, Scandinavia and southern Germany. 36 hours after the meltdown, highly increased doses of atmospheric radioactivity were measured in Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and even as far as Scandinavia. Due to rain and wind currents, 70% of radioactivity came down in Belarus, most of it in the regions of Gomel and Mogilev, 15% in Ukraine and Russia and the other 15% dispersed over the rest of the world. Most of Europe receives additional radiation and even as far as North America, a significant rise in the daily intake of radiation can be noted. A 30% increase in child mortality was registered in May and June of 1986 in New Jersey, while southern Germany measured a 70% rise. 3 80-90% of the radiation dose received by the inhabitants of the affected areas was and is internal, due to the oral intake of contaminated food, especially home produced milk, wild fruits and mushrooms. The contamination through inhalation was important in early days, when high iodine concentration was present in the air. The highest doses were absorbed by the clean-up workers (liquidators) and the inhabitants of the most contaminated communities.18

According to the WHO, up to 800.000 people were used by Soviet authorities to clean up the rubble of Block 4 – exposing them to radiation doses comparable to the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Up to this day, children in the region eat contaminated food, live in contaminated houses, play in contaminated woods and breathe contaminated dust.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), up to nine million people were and are affected by the devastating results of the Chernobyl catastrophe. (OCHA, Kiev 2001) A significant rise in all types of cancer was established by independent epidemiological studies, as well as thousands of deaths, a sharp increased in the number of spontaneous abortions, stillbirths, and childhood mortality, a growing number of birth defects and genetic abnormalities, disturbance and retardation of mental development, a growing number of neuropsychiatric diseases, blindness, endocrine diseases, diseases of the respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, urogenital systems as well as higher depression and suicide rates. The cover-up

The first catastrophe of Chernobyl was the meltdown itself. The second catastrophe of Chernobyl was and still is the subsequent cover-up. Hans Blix, former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, charged with the promotion of nuclear energy, stated after the Chernobyl meltdown became public that “the atomic industry can take catastrophes like Chernobyl every year”. This cynical slap in the face to the hundreds of thousands of victims of the accident seems to remain the dogma of the IAEA until today. The effects of the accident are still being suppressed, played down and minimized. Even today, the IAEA claims there were only 56 deaths. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people are still are being affected: in Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Poland and other western and northern European countries. Many victims have been neglected and remain without any help at all. Even...


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2003). Cortical Atrophy was found in MRI scans in 57 of 98 Liquidators (Bomko, 2005). A significant
increase in vestibular vertigo was found by Trinus and Zabolotny in 1997 (Kiev)
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