October 4, 2020 | News | No Comments
This Tuesday, April 26, marks 30 years since an explosion decimated reactor No. 4 at Chernobyl’s nuclear power plant, killing 31 nuclear and rescue workers, sickening thousands more, and forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate.
Chernobyl was the worst nuclear disaster in history, exposing hundreds of millions of people in 40 different countries to at least some dose of radioactivity.
Its repercussions continue to be felt far and wide.
Just this week, the Associated Press described Belarus, where 70 percent of the radioactive fallout from Chernobyl landed, as “a nation showing little regard for the potentially cancer-causing isotopes still to be found in the soil.”
Meanwhile, a teacher from Belarus’s heavily contaminated Mogilev region tells Greenpeace Central and Eastern Europe officer Andrey Allakhverdov that around 40 percent of her students have health problems: asthma, diabetes, and cancer or weak immune, respiratory, and digestive systems.
“The suffering caused by Chernobyl shows why we need to get rid of nuclear power for good,” Allakhverdov wrote on Monday.
But as ABC News wrote on Tuesday, “the long-term health effects of Chernobyl remain intensely disputed.”
USA Today reported: “The total death toll from cancer from the accident is projected to reach 4,000 for people exposed to high doses of radiation, and another 5,000 deaths among those who had less radiation exposure, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations and the World Health Organization.”
And in its account titled, “Thirty Years After Chernobyl, We’re Still Calculating How Much Cancer It Caused,” Slate noted that in 2006, an international team of scientists predicted a total of 22,800 radiation-induced cancers, excluding thyroid cancers, among the 572 million people who got at least some exposure to Chernobyl radioactivity.
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