THE EFFECTS OF THE NUCLEAR DISASTER OF CERNOBÎL
Age category: 15-18
Name of Authors: HORGA GABRIELA , BUJDEI ANDREI
Coordinator: MITROFAN NICOLETA ZOICA
At 26th of April 1986, occurred the most serious nuclear accident in history, with major consequences on health and enviroment, and also with social and economic important consequences. At almost 20 years from the incident, the term „Cernobîl” entered the collective conciousness, acquiring the proportions of a mith.
The effects of the accident of Cernobîl can’t be minimalized, but even today, there’s no common opinion regarding the impact on the human health. The total number of deaths vary by source, from a few tens of cases at some millions, same as the number of cancers and malformations.
The fire that followed the explosion of the fourth reactor hasn’t been extinguishes until the date of 6 May 1986. In this period of time there were issued in the enviroment huge quantities of rare gases and radioactive materials. According to experts, the quantity of radioactive materials was 200 times bigger than the one resulted from the explosions of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It has been estimated that the whole quantity of xenon, half of the quantity of cesium and 5% of the rest of the radioactive elements in the reactor were thrown in the athmosphere. The radioactive contamination zones were the villages and the cities around the nuclear central and the countries surrounding Ukraine, more precisely Russia and Belarus, and in a lesser extent, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Germany, Romania, Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey.
7 millions of people has been seriuosly radioactive affected, including 3 millions of children. The radioactive deposits affected Romania in the firsts days of May, because of the changing of the wind direction. Almost 350.000 people have been evacuated or left the area by themselves right after the accident, but still, 5 millions of people are living on that surface of land today.
Professor Timothy Mousseau from the North Carolina University, U.S.A., and doctor Anders Moller from the South-Paris University, France, published their study in the magazine „Ecological Indicators” by having counted and studied the wild animals (including the reptiles, the insects, the birds and the mammals) for 4 years, between 2006 and 2009. The scientists compared the data regarding the fauna close to the nuclear center with the ones regarding the animals in similar habitats, which have not been contamined by the accident. „The effects of the contamination are so high, that are overwhelming...”, stated professor Mousseau for BBC. The conclusion of the scientists came in the support of some previous studies demonstrating the radiatons’ effect on birds and insects. The impact is visible, especially on birds, many of them presenting tumors at feet, neck or around their eyes.
Ukrainian researchers denied the conclusions of the scientists supporting the negative effects of the contamination. Doctor Sergii Gashchak, researcher at Cernobîl Center in Ukraine, said that his team noticed the opposite of what the other researchers were calling a fauna decline: „...thrive fauna, because of the low level of human influence in the area. The whole life appeared and developed under the radiation’s influence, so the mechanisms of resistance and recovery evolved for surviving in these conditions”, stated Gashchak.
Greenpeace experts claim that the alarming levels of radioactivity can be found in milk, forest fruits and mushrooms and in the majority of the cases, the values are exceeding the legal limits.
Unfortunately, we are affected every day by the radiations of Cernobîl and beside moving to another unaffected country, we can do nothing to prevent this thing. We have to live in a visibly affected enviroment and we must pretend that everything is alright.
Bibliography: „Dezastrul de la Cernobîl- Mărturii ale supraviețuitorilor” de Svetlana Aleksevici