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Chernobyl: The true scale of the accident

from the international community."

Bennett continued: "This was a very serious accident with major health consequences, especially for thousands of workers exposed in the early days who received very high radiation doses, and for the thousands more stricken with thyroid cancer. By and large, however, we have not found profound negative health impacts to the rest of the population in surrounding areas, nor have we found widespread contamination that would continue to pose a substantial threat to human health, with a few exceptional, restricted areas."

The Forum's report aims to help the affected countries understand the true scale of the accident consequences and also suggest ways the governments of Belarus, Ukraine and Russia might address major economic and social problems stemming from the accident. Members of the Forum, including representatives of the three governments, will meet September 6 and 7 in Vienna at an unprecedented gathering of the world's experts on Chernobyl, radiation effects and protection, to consider these findings and recommendations.

Major Study Findings

Dozens of important findings are included in the massive report:

* Approximately 1,000 on-site reactor staff and emergency workers were heavily exposed to high-level radiation on the first day of the accident; among the more than 200,000 emergency and recovery operation workers exposed during the period from 1986-1987, an estimated 2,200 radiation-caused deaths can be expected during their lifetime.

* An estimated five million people currently live in areas of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine that are contaminated with radionuclides due to the accident; about 100,000 of them live in areas classified in the past by government authorities as areas of "strict control". The existing "zoning" definitions need to be revisited and relaxed in light of the new findings.

* About 4,000 cases of thyroid cancer, mainly in children and adolesc
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Source:International Atomic Energy Agency


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