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Radiation & health "Chernobyl-aids"

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 

(April 27, 1990) Jurij Cerbak, a Ukrainian ecologist and member of the Supreme Soviet, presented new details on the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster at a series of lectures arranged by the Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) in Switzerland during April.

(331.3310) WISE Amsterdam - He reported that for the Ukraine alone a five-to tenfold increase of thyroid gland cancer incidence is expected. A significant increase in leukaemia and immune deficiency diseases has already been observed. The latter are being called "Chernobyl-AIDS". Cerbak demanded the immediate evacuation of at least another 100,000 people from the most contaminated areas. His figures for the total cost of handling the Chernobyl disaster up to the end of the decade came to 200 billion rubles.

Cerbak also criticized the official radiation dose limits: A lifetime dose of 35 rem due to Chernobyl fallout is regarded as acceptable by the authorities. He presented an alternative concept to lower this limit to a maximum of 10 rem. Investigations show that in areas contaminated at levels above 40 curies of cesium-137 per square kilometer, inhabitants have already received doses of seven to 16 rem. This means that they are expected to even exceed the official lifetime dose of 35 rem. Their dose could only be limited to a mean value of 10 rem if they are evacuated soon. People living in areas contaminated with levels of 15 to 40 ci/square km are expected to receive lifetime doses of between seven and 37 rem. Inhabitants of areas contaminated with one to 15 ci/square km are expected to receive lifetime doses of three to 30 rem. These results also show that the simple equation used by the authorities (lifetime dose remains below 35 rem if soil contamination is less than 50 ci/square km) is no longer acceptable: Individual doses depend to a high degree on local conditions, eg. soil characteristics.


SOS Chernobyl/Sweden: A non-profit organization called "SOS Chernobyl" has recently been formed in Sweden. The purpose of the organization is to help children suffering from the Chernobyl catastrophe get medical attention and uncontaminated food, as well as to support teachers and others in monitoring contamination levels. SOS Chernobyl does not intend to send money to the Soviet Union, but rather food and materials that are in short supply. Source and contacts SOS Chernobyl, c/o Palmaer, Dalbobranten 35, 5 tr, S-123 53 Farsta, Sweden. Bankgiro: 5715-6564.

Aid to Victims/FRG: West German environmental groups have begun a campaign to collect money to help VICTIMS of the Chernobyl accident, primarily children. Many environmental groups are participating in the campaign, including BUND and DNR. The groups hope to raise money for medical equipment, food, and building materials for new homes needed for people still to be evacuated. Source and contact: BUND, Erbprinzstr. 18, D-7800 Freiburg, FRG.

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At the same lectures, the Soviet film director Rolan Sergejenko presented cuts from his four films on the Chernobyl disaster and its consequences. The first three films form a trilogy. "The Bell of Chernobyl" shows the situation at and around the power plant immediately after the 1986 accident and gives a first impression of the disaster. The second and third film, "Don't Ask for Whom the Hour Strikes" and "The Hour Strikes for You" show scenes of the 1987 court trials and interviews with those convicted but still refusing any responsibility, the actual situation of the population in the contaminated areas, and interviews with invalids. These films document the peoples' accusations to the authorities who want to continue nuclear power and who continue lying to the people. The fourth film, "Porog/The Threshold", presents the reactions of workers and people of Pripyat to the lies and disinformation given out by the authorities.

Source: Peter Diehl (FRG).

Contact: PSR/IPPNW Schweiz, Postfach 1040, CH-4001 Basel, Switzerland, tel: +41-61-672010, fax: +41-61-672029.