[First published july 12, 2009]
The Chernobyl disaster in northern Ukraine occurred on 26 of April 1986.
It is said that the disaster released as much as 400 times the radioactive contamination of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Over 400,000 people were evacuated.
The Chernobyl explosion sent a radioactive dust cloud over northern Ukraine that crossed into Belarus and Russia.
Excessive levels of radiation were recorded in Greece, Ireland, Sweden, Wales, Italy, Alaska, also probably in the north and east of France (despite official denials), and in other areas.
Almost the entire territory of Belarus was contaminated (more than 90%).
The World Health Organization estimated in 2005 that “a total of up to 4,000 people could eventually die of radiation exposure from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident,” according to “an international team of more than 100 scientists.” In 2006, the figures presented by the World Health Organization had increased to 9,000 (BBC link).
Greenpeace opposed those figures and predicted an eventual death toll of 93,000 (same BBC link). Apparently, Greenpeace’s report at the time was looking at all areas of Europe contaminated by the nuclear disaster, while WHO considered only the three most affected countries (Ukraine, Belarus, Russia). BBC states, at the bottom of its 2006 article, that the original WHO report “found more than 600,000 people received high levels of exposure, including reactor staff, emergency and recovery personnel and residents of the nearby areas.”
One should be cautious with figures. The nuclear industry is a powerful lobby. It goes without saying that the nuclear industry has a vested interest in playing down Chernobyl. It’s an embarrassment, indeed a shame to them — and billions of dollars are at stake.
[A btw note for those who are interested in those matters - and they are of interest : part of this article has been plagiarized verbatim by this other site without any reference or link to the source (here).]
In her 2002 documentary, Chernobyl Heart, Maryann de Leo says that, at the time (2002), 13,000 of the 600,000 “liquidators,” conscripted for the cleanup in 1986, had died. The “liquidators” had been exposed to massive doses of radiation, evaluated at 90 times greater than radiation from the explosion of the uranium atomic bomb detonated over Hiroshima by the US on 6th of August 1945.
Today, there is an “Exclusion Zone” of 30 km (19 miles) radius surrounding the destroyed reactor (which was located much nearer to Pripyat than to Chernobyl per se). Officially, nobody is allowed to live in the “Exclusion Zone,” although some people, among the elders, have returned home and are tolerated by the authorities.
In 2002, 16 years after the disaster, according to Chernobyl Heart, the incidence of thyroid cancer in Gomel (Belarus) was 10,000 times higher than it was before the Chernobyl accident, and disheartening congenital birth defects had increased by 250%. Children were the worst affected. Gomel, less than 50 miles from Chernobyl (population: 700,000), was contaminated in 2002 with a cesium level 40 times higher than the recognized danger limit. The Chief Director at the Maternity Hospital of Gomel, Dr. Burakovsky, was quoted in Chernobyl Heart, saying: “Approximately fifteen percent (15%) to twenty percent (20%) of babies are born healthy” (no, it’s neither a typo, a lapsus or an error). More than 90% of Belarus, according to Chernobyl Heart, was contaminated. The infant mortality rate in Belarus was 300% higher than in the rest of Europe. Babies, kids, pay a horrible price.
I stumbled upon the documentary Sex Slaves, directed by Ric Esther Bienstock and produced around 2005. The documentary is dealing with human trafficking. But it provides a short segment which is descriptive of the long-term trans-generational ill-effects of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster on people, for instance on some kids not being born yet in 1986. There’s a moment where the documentary shows a close link between the Chernobyl disaster, force migration to avoid the region, diseases caused by having been exposed to radiations (especially kids), ex-Ussr impoverishment and in a number of satellite countries as well, notably Ukraine, among others, — and human trafficking taking advantage of it. Much money is needed for a young brother medical care, or a sister, a mother, because of radiations. Tania, an Ukrainian, falls into the trap of human trafficking promising money, delivering sex slavery, and more misery. Tania is Ukrainian. The segment is between 43 mn 48 and 45 mn 36 ; short epilogue between 53 mn 04 and 53 mn 23 :
Du même reportage ici, un segment, en français, de ~ 06 mn 10 à ~ 07 mn 20 :
We have been submitted to that nuclear asuric nonsense since the twentieth century mid-forty (actually, nuclear radiation research and experimentation were already existing in France by the end of the nineteenth century). All nuclear power plants should simply be dismantled before they dismantle themselves by accident, or because of an error (a real error, or a “so-called” error) or for whatever reason, crippling, destroying the genetics of this planet…
[ Update, Fukushima, Japan, March 12, 2011: As an illustration of what you've just read, here is a short and pertinent update, this time about nuclear reactors explosion in Japan, following March 11, 2011 Sendai devastating earthquake (at 05:46:23 UTC, 8.9 magnitude (Mw)) : Video: Japan nuclear plant Fukushima big explosion live 2011; and some articles : Emergency at 5 nuclear reactors in Japan after quake knocks out power to cooling systems - from Mari Yamaguchi And Jeff Donn, March 11, 2011 - 7:06 PM; Possible meltdown at Tepco Reactor in Japan - Saturday, March 12, 2011 ; Japan nuclear mishap among 'worst ever' - Bangkok Post 13/03/2011 at 12:09 AM ; Health effects from radiation poisoning : questions and answers Excerpt - Q: How is radiation poisoning treated? A: Potassium iodide can be used to block radioactive iodine from being taken into the thyroid gland, protecting it from injury. It cannot protect other parts of the body or reverse damage to the thyroid once it has occurred. Prussian blue, a dye used by artists and manufacturers since 1704, can also be used to remove certain radioactive materials from the body. It should only be used under medical supervision ; Japan Nuclear reactors not contained, more explosions, evacuations. One year later, June 2012 : genetic difformities of butterflies are growing (Scientific Reports) : The biological impacts of the Fukushima nuclear disaster on butterflies (pdf) (or here, article online).]
[Déformations génétiques chez les papillons autour de Fukushima, observez les deux photos : constatation inquiétante en lisant cet article en français sur le site de la Src (Radio Canada); on lit, en effet, que le nombre de papillons ainsi déformés croît d'une génération à l'autre; les gènes objet de mutations aberrantes seraient donc dominants, pas récessifs, même en choisissant «un papillon sain, d'une autre région, pour l'accoupler avec un papillon de Fukushima». C'est ce qu'on nous prépare. Le nucléaire, un crime contre l'humanité? Évidemment. ]
Back to Chernobyl. Link to a recent article (2009), Reuters:
LONDON (Reuters) – Radiation has affected animals living near the site of Ukraine’s Chernobyl nuclear disaster far more than was previously thought, a study showed Wednesday, challenging beliefs that local wildlife was on the rebound.
The study showed that numbers of bumble-bees, butterflies, spiders, grasshoppers and other invertebrates were lower in contaminated sites than other areas because of high levels of radiation left over from the blast more than 20 years ago.
The findings challenge earlier research that suggested animal populations were rebounding around the site of the Chernobyl explosion in Ukraine, which forced thousands to abandon their homes and evacuate the area.
[End of excerpt.]
I tried to find the specific study released in France (by the CNRS, the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique – National Center for Scientific Research; the study was led by Anders Moller), and mentioned in the Reuters article, linked above. Difficult to find. When a document largely mentioned in the press seems almost impossible to find on the internet… well, there can be many reasons and, at least for the moment, I don’t draw conclusions.
But let’s face it: the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 was very bad news for France, and any bad news, 23 years later, in 2009, about the aftermath of the Chernobyl reactor disaster is simply more very bad news for France.
France is equipped with 59 nuclear power plants that produced, in 2008, almost 88% of all its electricity. France is the world leading net exporter of nuclear electricity in the world. It exports to neighbours like the Netherlands, Germany, Britain, Italy, and its electricity cost is among the lower in Europe. The present economic crisis will certainly influence negatively the maintenance and repair of all nuclear power plants in the world, as of civil infrastructures in general. For instance, the Chalk River nuclear power plant in Ontario, Canada, has been shut in 2009 for repairs, or so goes the official story…
Back to France: in 2008, in July, about 18 000 litres (environ 4 500 gallons) of uranium solution that contained natural uranium were released, accidentally, we presume, not intentionally, from the Tricastin nuclear power center; an accident… So… Oh yes, I was mentioning that the original study document originating from the CNRS in France, and mentioned in the Reuters article above, is very difficult to find… There are reasons, as we have seen. Have a look at the following graph:
I found more about the French nuclear lobby cover-up here: Réseau Sortir du Nucléaire (Phasing Out the Nuclear Age Network).
The home page (la page d’accueil) is in French; you can access their English home page and some pdf documents in English by clicking “English” on the upper right side of the home page.
There is a very good document in French, published by the same Network, about the French nuclear lobby cover-up regarding the toxic effects of the Chernobyl disaster: Tchernobyl, enquête exclusive – Comment le lobby nucléaire français enterre la vérité en zones contaminées.
What appears to be the main thrust of the French lobby’s public relations and propaganda regarding Chernobyl is to disseminate among the public the idea that one can “live happy ever after” and “without worry” in nuclear contaminated areas like the one surrounding Chernobyl’s reactor 4.
Can we trust the nuclear lobby? I certainly wouldn’t. The nuclear lobby is trying to exploit a powerful archetypal image related to paradise, resurrection, redemption, etc., and there is certainly much to say about the psychological and archetypal dimension – indeed the fascinating aura of mystery, strangeness, the aura of wilderness revirginisée and victorious – surrounding the Chernobyl disaster and its aftermath. These feelings are genuine, powerful, legitimate, and must certainly not be repressed, to the contrary. However, what the nuclear lobby is trying to do, among other things, is to divert and exploit the depth of the human psyche, through public relations and manipulation, bypassing or downplaying all genetic hazards, for money, power, prestige and profits. It’s the good ol’ asuric game of using and perverting the best in human beings and human psyche in order to weaken them, gain control over them and submit their bodies to someone else’s will. This is absurd, this is cruel – and boring to death – but there’s something in that game they play that seems to make them tick. Plus ça change, more of the same. Don’t trust them. Simply. Serenely. Never trust them. They don’t care about us. They don’t. They never did. They care about something that always plays against us. We don’t count for them. They’re reckless. That’s all.
BTW, have you ever noticed the shape of the Bank for International Settlements’ (BIS) building in Basel (Bâle), Switzerland? Look at the illustration on the left. ( It is also reproduced here, on an other post, a short piece on the concept of “corporation”.)
Observe the building’s shape.
The striking symbolic, and somewhat hieratic architecture of the BIS’ headquarters – BIS is owned by the network of the numerous privately controlled Central Banks of the world – has evidently been planned, it can’t be the result of an “accident” or of a “fortuitous coincidence,” no more than the presence of a cross at the top of a church tower would be a “fortuitous coincidence.”
Actually, the whole impression is that of some kind of cult, whatever that kind of “cult” could be. It’s an intuition that’s been present to me for some years. I can’t really check it as I would. Presently. But I know, as to me, that it is the kind of intuition that usually proves to be right: it’s a “cool” one, with a very tranquil presence, nothing obsessive …
In any event, let’s get back to Chernobyl.
Here’s a very good link: the Chernobyl Research Initiative at South Carolina University. The study mentioned by Reuters, and quoted earlier on this post (Chernobyl Animals Worse affected than thought: study – by Nick Vonocur.), could be somewhere, there, among the numerous documents published by the Chernobyl Research Initiative (click on “publications” at the top of their home page). The study could be there, or some of its content, or much of its content, or related content, but one thing is sure, you’ll find there something substantial; the Directors of the Chernobyl Research Initiative are Timothy A. Mousseau and Anders Pape Moller. Anders Pape Moller, according to Reuters, led the study released by the CNRS. The CRI provides minute studies and reports dating back to, at least, 2001, up to 2008; these studies and reports are very informative. You will also find links to research on Chernobyl, sources of funding for the Chernobyl Research Initiative, etc.
An excerpt from the Chernobyl Research Initiative:
Summary of principal findings to date [...][at least up to 2008, maybe up to 2009]:
1) Children living in contaminated regions show significant negative impacts on blood parameters including red and white blood cell counts, hemoglobin levels, and platelet numbers.
2) Surveys of bird populations indicate that mutation loads in natural populations are much higher than in uncontaminated areas.
3) Literature reviews indicate that mutation rates in many different species of plants and animals (including humans) are higher than in control regions.
4) Chernobyl populations exhibit a wide variety of morphological deformities that are not found in any normal population.
5) Surveys of birds, insects, and spiders indicate that many species are either absent or in very low numbers in the Chernobyl region. Brightly colored and migratory species of birds appear to be particularly sensitive to radioactive contaminants.
6) Studies of birds indicate that some species may only persist in the contaminated regions via immigration from uncontaminated areas. Without this immigration, perceived impacts would be even higher than current projections. Media reports of a “healthy” Chernobyl environment with rare species of birds and mammals are likely the result of immigrants and not locally sustained populations.
7) Population and community studies suggest that antioxidants (e.g. vitamins A and E, and carotenoids) may provide protection against the mutagenic effects of radioactive contaminants.
End of excerpt.
I found a recent link (July 7 2009) on the construction cost for Chernobyl’s New Safe Confinement structure (the disaster occurred in 1986, it’s not over yet, and there are still people promoting the building of new nuclear power plants…) :
This is Mark Resnicoff’s web site. You should read his account of a two-day visit to Chernobyl in 2006, even though it may seems to contradict, implicitly, the essential of the findings, over the years, by the Chernobyl Research Initiative. Mark’s piece of writing conveys a very deep, lasting impression – at least that’s what it did on me – and apparently on him. Presently, I think there is still much, very much, to meditate upon and to learn, and in more than one direction, about the Chernobyl disaster, its aftermath, its deeper meaning. As Socrates used to say: knowledge is reminiscence :
I find the following news article quite telling, not to say frightening; it dates back to April 2005 – we’re in 2009. Link to full article:
A leading Russian scientist has claimed that the sarcophagus entombing Chernobyl’s broken nuclear reactor is dangerously degraded and he warned that its collapse could cause a catastrophe on the same scale as the original accident almost 20 years ago.
Professor Alexei Yablokov, President of the Centre for Russian Environmental Policy, said the concrete and metal sarcophagus was riven with cracks, already leaking radiation and at risk of collapse unless repairs were undertaken and work on a replacement urgently begun.
“If it collapses, there will be no explosion, as this is not a bomb, but a pillar of dust containing irradiated particles will shoot 1.5 kilometres into the air and will be spread by the wind.” Depending on how the wind is blowing, Russia or Belarus would bear the brunt of such a dust cloud. Ukraine, where Chernobyl is located, would also be affected.
[End of excerpt.]
“Confinement” of the structure seems to me like a gigantic, dangerous, costly nightmare since 1986. Except for one of the links (World Nuclear Association) the following links are not necessarily updated to 2009, but they are very informative, especially Chernobyl: Understanding some of the true costs of nuclear technology and the link to GreenFacts.
Wikipedia link: Chernobyl Disaster.
Wikipedia link: Chernobyl New “Safe” Confinement Project.
This link is to The World Nuclear Association, “representing the people and organisations of the global nuclear profession” (those who make money out of building nuclear plants, and out of repairing or confining them…). There is information there, however.
This link is to GreenFacts: Scientific facts on the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident. (Document and information compiled in 2006.)
- (Up) The Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine, apparently after they started to build the sarcophagus in the aftermath of the disaster. The sarcophagus in progress appears at the forefront, where previously there was a hole. The nuclear disaster itself had happened on 26 of April 1986. Compare with photo immediately following. When comparing, take the red-and-white chimney as point of reference for orientation.
The cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in Japan, were nuked and destroyed by the US in august 1945. The uranium atom bomb dropped over the city of Hiroshima had an explosive yield of around 15,000 tons of TNT. It immediately killed between 70,000 to 100,000 people (figures vary and can be presented differently; for instance, 90,000 killed immediately and 145,000 within months). It injured countless others. Tens of thousands died in the ensuing months and years from injuries and radiation. This was the first time a nuclear bomb was used as a weapon of mass destruction (WMD). It was insane, pure terror:
In a recent article posted on Global Research, Daniel Ellsberg writes: “Every one of our many thousands of H-bombs, the thermonuclear fusion bombs that arm our [US] strategic forces, requires a Nagasaki-type A-bomb as its detonator.”
“Every one of our many thousands of H-bombs, the thermonuclear fusion bombs that arm our strategic forces, requires a Nagasaki-type A-bomb as its detonator. I doubt that one American in a hundred knows that simple fact, and thus has a clear understanding of the difference between A- and H-bombs, or of the reality of the thermonuclear arsenals of the last 50 years.
“Our popular image of nuclear war—from the familiar pictures of the devastation of Nagasaki and Hiroshima—is grotesquely misleading. Those pictures show us only what happens to humans and buildings when they are hit by what is now just the detonating cap for a modern nuclear weapon.”
[End of excerpt.]
Waging Total Nuclear War against Humanity and Human Genes – Malformed babies resulting from israeli banned weapons – Depleted Uranium found in Gaza victims – Nuclear Fuel. What is it? – Wikipedia – Chernobyl Heart, video documentary by Maryann de Leo, on Google Video. Can also be found on youtube. – Was there an earthly paradise? What was it? Where was it? (Satprem and Mira Alfassa – the Mother) – Astounding 2009 Nobel Prize for Literature Joan de Blow never wrote a book! She talks about Obama. – Invisible Person with Enormous Power: it starts with a “C”, as in “Corporation”, but it doesn’t end there… – Western leaders, western populations : awareness, massmedia control and censorship. – How can we make our consciousness vast? -