Thirty years after the Chernobyl accident: what lessons have we learnt?

Beresford, N.A.; Fesenko, S.; Konoplev, A.; Skuterud, L.; Smith, J.T.; Voigt, G.. 2016 Thirty years after the Chernobyl accident: what lessons have we learnt? Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 157. 77-89.

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April 2016 sees the 30th anniversary of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. As a consequence of the accident populations were relocated in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine and remedial measures were put in place to reduce the entry of contaminants (primarily 134+137Cs) into the human food chain in a number of countries throughout Europe. Remedial measures are still today in place in a number of countries, and areas of the former Soviet Union remain abandoned. The Chernobyl accident led to a large resurgence in radioecological studies both to aid remediation and to be able to make future predictions on the post-accident situation, but, also in recognition that more knowledge was required to cope with future accidents. In this paper we discuss, what in the authors' opinions, were the advances made in radioecology as a consequence of the Chernobyl accident. The areas we identified as being significantly advanced following Chernobyl were: the importance of semi-natural ecosystems in human dose formation; the characterisation and environmental behaviour of ‘hot particles'; the development and application of countermeasures; the “fixation” and long term bioavailability of radiocaesium and; the effects of radiation on plants and animals.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Shore
ISSN: 0265-931X
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: radioecology, Chernobyl, hot particles, semi-natural ecosystems, countermeasures, effects on wildlife, fixation in soil
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 31 Mar 2016 09:52 +0 (UTC)

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