The real impact of the Chernobyl accident

May 29, 2013

The impact of the Chernobyl nuclear accident has been seriously overestimated, while unfounded statements presented as scientific facts have been used to strangle the nuclear industry, according to Russian researchers. Writing in the International Journal of Low Radiation, Sergei Jargin of the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia in Moscow, suggests that the health effects of food contamination in particular have been distorted in anti-industry propaganda.

Jargin has analyzed the scientific research literature and after the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident, and has investigated the motives and mechanisms of the overestimation of in an attempt to finally clarify the issues surrounding the Chernobyl legacy. He points out that there are examples in the literature that he considers inaccurate. Moreover, many of these publications cite what Jargin refers to as "numerous references to mass media, websites of unclear affiliation and commercial editions, used to corroborate scientific views," as opposed to properly referenced, peer-reviewed scientific publications.

"Today, there are no alternatives to nuclear power: will become increasingly expensive, contributing to excessive population growth in fuel-producing countries and poverty elsewhere," the Jargin says. He adds that, "Natural sources of power generation like wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric power and electricity from combustible renewables and waste will make a contribution, but their share in the global energy balance is too small." It is likely that at some point in the future nuclear fusion reactors will become a viable replacement for the fission reactors we have today, but for the time being, "nuclear energy should be managed and supervised by a powerful international executive," concludes Jargin. Robust due diligence with regard to sociopolitical, geographic, geologic, and other pre-conditions would also help prevent future accidents.

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More information: "Food contamination after the Chernobyl accident: dose assessments and health effects" in Int. J. Low Radiation, 2013, 9, 23-29.

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gwrede
3 / 5 (6) May 29, 2013
Somehow the public thinks that it's OK for more people to die in coal mines each year than the sum total of all nuclear power caused deaths.

One might forgive the Green folks, but as they are the same who alarm us about climate warming, it really is unforgivable. But then, you didn't really expect them to start thinking rationally now, did you?

Of course, one might think that a coal miner dying is his own fault. But there are innocent people dying around coal power plants from respiratory and circulatory causes that are directly caused by soot and microparticles from the plant. And they, too, outnumber nuclear industry caused deaths.
gwrede
3.7 / 5 (3) May 29, 2013
Phys.org has also posted stronger articles about nuclear power:

http://phys.org/n...tml#nRlv
PPihkala
4.5 / 5 (6) May 29, 2013
I wqnt to remind people that what happened at Chernobyl was not an accident, it was gross misconduct against safety rules and devices. They did actively disable safety features when they conducted this reactor test without proper permits and personnel in the middle of the night.
FainAvis
5 / 5 (4) May 29, 2013
Nuclear power should be controlled in such a way that nothing can go wrong. ... go wrong ... go wrong ... go wrong ... go wr
Shootist
2.5 / 5 (11) May 29, 2013
The impact of the Chernobyl nuclear accident has been seriously overestimated, while unfounded statements presented as scientific facts have been used to strangle the nuclear industry


Stupid China Syndrome.

Neinsense99
3 / 5 (10) May 29, 2013
Nuclear power should be controlled in such a way that nothing can go wrong. ... go wrong ... go wrong ... go wrong ... go wr


My reactor control system enjoys working with humans, Dave. :)
antialias_physorg
2.3 / 5 (3) May 29, 2013
Okay, when someone writes a paper that suggests that effects were overestimated insome publications
(*though I don't get the notion that he actually got any other numbers to contrast with the ones he says are hyped - but that is besides the point)

BUT: if someone in the same article states that there is no alternative to nuclear, does anyone's PR-spin-meter NOT go into the red?
Howhot
3.7 / 5 (3) May 29, 2013
@gwrede says
Somehow the public thinks that it's OK for more people to die in coal mines each year than the sum total of all nuclear power caused deaths.

It's not the death of people we worry about with nuclear events; It's quality of life for the next 10000 years or so (for everything living). However as one of my colleges reminded me, when an oil refiner catches fire, its a bad event for a town. When an event happens at a nuclear plant, it could be a bad event for several states!

One can not stress how important safety is these plants given the longevity of their impact if something goes wrong.


ROBTHEGOB
1 / 5 (1) May 30, 2013
As Homer Simpson would say - DOH!
Neinsense99
2.5 / 5 (8) May 30, 2013
As Homer Simpson would say - DOH!

I will rate your post with one of my three yellow two-dimensional fingers.
geokstr
1 / 5 (2) May 30, 2013
Nuclear power should be controlled in such a way that nothing can go wrong. ... go wrong ... go wrong ... go wrong ... go wr

I first heard that joke decades ago when it was about the voice recording of the captain after a passenger plane had reached cruising altitude on the first ever totally automated flight.