This past April 26th marked the 24th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear plant accident. It came as the nuclear industry and pro-nuclear government officials in the United States and other nations were trying to "revive" nuclear power. And it followed the publication of a book, the most comprehensive study ever made, on the impacts of the Chernobyl disaster.
Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment was published by the New York Academy of Sciences. It is authored by three noted scientists:Russian biologist Dr. Alexey Yablokov, former environmental advisor to the Russian president; Dr. Alexey Nesterenko, a biologist and ecologist in Belarus; and Dr.Vassili Nesterenko, a physicist and at the time of the accident director of the Institute of Nuclear Energy of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. Its editor is Dr. Janette Sherman, a physician and toxicologist long-involved in studying the health impacts of radioactivity.
The book is solidly based--on health data, radiological surveys and scientific reports--some 5,000 in all.
It concludes that based on records now available, some 985,000 people died, mainly of cancer, as a result of theChernobyl accident. That is between when the accident occurred in 1986 and 2004. More deaths, it projects, will follow.
The book explodes the claim of the International Atomic Energy Agency--still on its website that the expected death toll from the Chernobyl accident will be 4,000. The IAEA, the new book shows, is underestimating, to the extreme, the casualties of Chernobyl.
Alice Slater, representative in New York of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, comments: "The tragic news uncovered by the comprehensive new research that almost one million people died in the toxic aftermath of Chernobyl should be a wake-up call to people all over the world to petition their governments to put a halt to the current industry-driven "nuclear renaissance.' Aided by a corrupt IAEA, the world has been subjected to a massive cover-up and deception about the true damages caused by Chernobyl."
Further worsening the situation, she said, has been "the collusive agreement between the IAEA and the World Health Organization in which the WHO is precluded from publishing any research on radiation effects without consultation with the IAEA." WHO, the public health arm of the UN, has supported the IAEA's claim that 4,000 will die as a result of the accident.