Alexei Yablokov (Russia) Doctor of Biological Sciences, advisor to the Russian Academy of Sciences, coauthor of Chernobyl Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment published by New York Academy of Sciences: http://stopnuclearpoweruk.net/sites/default/files/Yablokov%20Chernobyl%20book.pdf
It is possible to reveal the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster by comparing changes in health of the population living in territories that have received different additional radioactive loads due to the Catastrophe. This comparison is much more accurate than that based on average levels of radiation (effective dose), calculated with an impermissible lack of precision under the method used by the ICRP and UNSCEAR for a “conventional” subject (which gives reduced estimates of the real irradiation).
While the consequences of the additional release into the atmosphere of many dozens of radionuclides (including longlived) of a total radioactivity of about 10 ExaBq (having mostly fallen outside the former USSR) will be felt for many generations, more than ten thousand studies have been published in the 25 years since the disaster in different countries (mostly in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus). Taken together all these publications make it possible to brush a broad panorama of changes in health of population groups who received additional radiation from Chernobyl.
Among of the main effects of the Chernobyl disaster is to be found in the increase of ilnesses’ incidence and prevalence:
• circulatory organs;
• endocrine system;
• immune system;
• urinogenital system;
• mioskeletal system;
• central nervous system and psyche;
• the eye structure;
• increase in congenital malformations;
• increase in cancers;
• accelerated aging;
• increased frequency of mutations;
• change in the secondary sex ratio.
During the 17 years after the Catastrophe, the total mortality in the territories of Belarus, Ukraine and Russia contaminated by Cs137 on the level ≥ 40 kBq/m2 have arised up to 4 % (273,000 people against 9,000 predicted by the IAEA and WHO through 2056). Cautious extrapolation suggests that mortality worldwide due to Chernobyl.
The UNSCEAR Committee for the Scientific Investigation of the effects of radiation United Nations has declared:
The UNSCEAR committee has decided not to extrapolate the effects of Low-level radiation from the Chernobyl accident on the population on the basis of models extrapolate absolute terms, because these predictions are afflicted with unacceptable unreliability (UNSCEAR, 2011; 98, p.18).
This “unreliability” depends on both the methodological errors of the officially recognized system for the determination of radiation risk (eg: ECRR, 2003, 2010), as well as with the underestimation of the extent of the effects of the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined (eg: Bertell, 1985, Stewart, 1989)
One of the methodological error of traditional approaches to determining the scope of Radiation risk is the exclusive use of data on cancer mortality, although it is not the most important cause of mortality after the Chernobyl accident, in radioactively contaminated territories. Another methodological error of UNSСEAR approach is a complete disregard of the Increase in perinatal mortality rate after the disaster that after the Chernobyl Accident in the many highly radioactively contaminated areas in Belarus (Petrova et al. 1997, Korblein, 2002, 2006), Ukraine (Dzykovich et al., 2004), Russia (Balewa, et al., 2001), Germany (Schreb, Incited, 2000, Korblein, Kuchenkoff, 1997, Schreb et al., 2000), Poland (Korblein, 2003, 2006) and UK (Bentham, 1999, Busby, 1995) showed. Since the time of the nuclear weapons tests in the atmosphere is known that the radioactive Contamination, an increase of prenatal mortality rate (stillbirths and Miscarriages) and infant mortality rate (Sternglass, 1972; White, 1992;. Playford et al, 1992; Overview here Busby, 1995; Yablokov, 2002, Durakovic, 2003) causes In the period 1987-88 is a well-documented increase in infant mortality in the leaves radioactive contaminated areas of Ukraine (Grodzinsky, 1999; Omelianetz, Klementjew, 2001, Dubowaja, 2010), Russia (Fetisow, 1999; Hworostenko, 1999; Komogortseva, 2001, Utka et al. 2005, ZYB et al., 2006) and Germany (Korblein, 2006 notice) was found. After the Chernobyl Accident increased infant mortality affects even the entire demographic Statistics of a number of countries. In the more contaminated areas of Ukraine and Russia an increased Overall mortality observed. (The most recent 1995;. Omelianets et al, 2001; Оmelianets, Klement’ev, 2001, Grodzinsky, 1999;. Golubchikov et al, 2002, Kaschirina, 2005; Sergeeva et al. 2005; Dubowaja, 2010, Kaschirina, 2005; Sergeewa et al, 2005;. Fetisow, 1999; Sukalska et al. 2004 and many others).
The methodological error of the epidemiological approach to determining the number of victims is based on the accounts of the radiation risk is that the estimation of the number of victims on the comparison of relatively well-documented mortality and morbidity rates (the number the sick and the dead carried out), while levels of radioactive Load can not be accurately determined. Moreover, this approach to determine the Number of victims is not capable of the effects of low radiation dose precisely to record (which have added even the inventor of this approach): “The currently available Epidemiological data provide no basis for reasonable assurance to the radioactive contamination attributable morbidity and mortality in test groups from the To predict the population of the three republics and other European countries, with a average dose of less than 30 mSv were charged in the past 20 years. Any rise in [the morbidity and mortality among these groups] would be lower than the Emerging scientific measurability. “(UNSCEAR, 2011, (97), p. 18). The methodological Defectiveness of the epidemiological approach leads to the large deviation of forecasts the numbers of victims:
4,000 deaths (in 90 years. Belarus, Ukraine, European part Russia) according to IAEA / WHO – press paper Chernobyl forum 2005
8,930 deaths (in 90 years. Belarus, Ukraine, European part Russia) according to Chernobyl forum 2005
7,400 deaths (Whole world for 50 years) according to Anspaugh et al., 1988
30,000 deaths (Whole world for 50 years) according to Goldman, 1987
18,000 (8,000 – 32,000) deaths (Europe, 1986 – 2065 without Thyroid cancer) according to Cardis et al., 2006
30,000 – 60,000 deaths (Whole world. About the entire period) according to Fairley, Sumner,2006
117,000 (37,000 – 181,000) deaths (Whole world. in the period 1986 – 2056) according to Malko, 2010
317,000 – 475,000 (495,000 with Leukemia) deaths (Whole world. About the whole period. only radiocesium) according to Hofman,1994
899,000 – 1,786 000 deaths (Whole world. About the entire period. only radionuclides) according to Bertell,2006
Some estimates of the additional through by the ‘Chernobyl’ caused mortality Cancer, which made the epidemiological approach (“dose” method) were Based on the spread of the “dose” method estimates, which are set out in the table are more than 400 times higher than the usual scientific disagreement. You can with the Opinion of UNSCEAR agree that not a forecast of the number of victims work but with one caveat: This does not work only if the traditional “dose” – Method is applied.
For the estimation of the total number of victims is another method (the so-called “Balance” method) reliable. It consists of the data of the health status of Population of the radioactively contaminated areas with high data. To compare health status of the population from the “clean” areas. The basic source data consist of physical instrumental measurements of radioactive Contamination of an area and the incidence rate and mortality (morbidity and mortality) in this area.
The best example of this method is the Additional calculations on the “Chernobyl” accident declining mortality, Hudolej W. et al. (2006) in the six regions of Russia was performed. In these Areas that were affected by the fallout from Chernobyl were the worst, 7.5 million People.
I leave the details of the bills and put aside just before the results: Total number of excess deaths in these six radioactively contaminated areas was 60 400. This corresponds to 3.75% of total mortality of the population during the examined 15 years (from 1990 to 2004.) or 37 of every 1,000 people. Conversion to at all levels of ≥ 1 Ci / km ² contaminated areas within the former Soviet Union (and taking into account the mortality of liquidators and evacuees from these areas after 1986) could all of the additional mortality rate in Ukraine, Belarus and in the European part of Russia in the period 1990-2004 by the Chernobyl accident was caused, amounted to around 240 000 cases. In Europe, outside the areas affected by radioactive releases from the Ukraine, Belarus and the European part of Russia could be the additional “Chernobyl” – Mortality in areas with a level of contamination Cesium137> 1.08 Ci / km ² (> 40 kBq / m) in the period 1990 to 2004 a number of 185 000 cases, represent, and in the areas with a higher population density and a contamination level of
To this figure should be even mortality within the first 3.5 years after the Disaster (May 1986 – 1989) and add the period 2006-2011. If it is suspected that the annual death rate for the first 3.5 years of the 1990-2004 period at about corresponded to (the infant mortality rate is higher, while the mortality of adults lower), adds even further 240 000 cases. If one assumes that the Mortality rate during 2005-2010 was about half (on the one hand, the population older and “collected” diseases are clear and the latent period of several Cancer is over, on the other hand, the level of chronic radiation decreases due to the decay of cesium-137 and strontium-90), there are again additional 170 000 cases.
In this way, the overall level of additional “Chernobyl” in the mortality rate Period of the first 25 years are estimated by the disaster: 1 034 000 + 240 000 + 170 000 = 1.444 million victims. But this figure also shows the entire “Chernobyl” mortality is not complete. It is known that the disaster to a sudden increase in prenatal mortality has done. The increase in the number of still-births and miscarriages can be divided into a number highly radioactively contaminated areas in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia to determine (Kulakov et al, 1993;. Buzhievskaya et al, 1995; Buldakov et al, 1996;. Golovko, Ishewski, 1996; Medvedeva et al, 2001; Lypik, 2004;. Serdjulk et al, 2004; Timchenko et al, 2006;. ZYB et al. 2006) (. Scherb et al, 2000; Scherb, Wiegel, 2010) as well as the phenomenon is in Bavaria, Croatia (Korblein, 2008), UK (Bentham, 1991, Busby 1995), Finland (Auvinen et al, 2001.) Italy (Semisa, 1988) and Norway (Ulstain et al., 1990) measurable. The calculation of the total Number of such cases is not entirely accurate, but might, according to the experts’ assessments about 170 000 cases estimated for whole Europe.
If we agree with the opinion of the nuclear society, in the UNSCEAR (2001) is expressed, and thus give up the tests, the exact number of victims of To predict the Chernobyl disaster, because we seem to inaccurate estimates, then comes the one thought prohibition. The other approach is to consider all arguments and vague estimates to clarify gradually. With regard to the scale of the disaster, the whole territory of northern hemisphere and thus affected more than one billion people and has concerns, it clear that it is impossible to exactly the number of victims up to thousands or tens of thousands of people determine. But it seems important to determine the magnitude of the numbers: Some thousands (Which is unnoticeable in the overall mortality rate) or a few million (which is a Forcing a rethink in terms of nuclear technology would).
The “balance” – method for determining the number of victims of the Chernobyl accident, which during the last years has developed rapidly and is still evolving, it looks advantageous- Especially in comparison with that used with the calculation of the radiation risk “Dose” method, which is based on unreliable estimates of radiation dose. The “Balance” – method is not ideal because it is the formation of average values of
demographic characteristics and an assessment of the radiation rate in the observed Areas needed. The undoubted advantage of the “Balance” method when compared with the “dose” Method, however, is that it makes no less verifiable assumptions. In the analysis of the mortality situation in the Chernobyl radionuclides on by one level of ≥ 1 Ci / km ² (40 kBq / m) contaminated areas in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine has been found that the overall mortality rate here is around 4% higher than in the relatively “clean” neighboring areas. In the other, huge sections of the northern Hemisphere, which were affected by the Chernobyl fallout is weaker, the number of additional Low mortality, no doubt, but given the large amount of people affected they certainly still essential. The rough estimation of the total possible number of Chernobyl victims in the period of the last 25 years is about 1.44 million cases (under Consideration of prenatal deaths – 1.6 million cases). This confirms the known Statement: The Chernobyl accident is the biggest technological catastrophe in Human history.