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The Other Report on Chernobyl (Torch)

Greens launch new study on the malignant legacy of Chernobyl

The European Greens have today launched a new report on the devastating and ongoing legacy of the disaster in Chernobyl. With the 20th anniversary of Chernobyl falling later this month, on 26 April, the report by two leading UK scientists, which was commissioned by German Green MEP Rebecca Harms, clearly sets out the continuing and predicted future noxious effects of Chernobyl, not just on the immediate area, but worldwide, particularly western Europe.

Some key findings of The Other Report on Chernobyl (TORCH) (i) include:

  • Belarus, Ukraine and Russia were heavily contaminated, however more than half of Chernobyl's fallout was deposited outside these countries;
  • Fallout from Chernobyl contaminated about 40% of Europe's surface area;
  • About 2/3rds of Chernobyl's collective dose was distributed to populations outside Belarus, Ukraine and Russia, especially to western Europe
  • About 30,000 to 60,000 excess cancer deaths are predicted, 7 to 15 times greater than IAEA/WHO's published estimate of 4,000

Speaking at the launch of the report in Berlin, Rebecca Harms said:

"We commissioned TORCH to counterbalance claims made by the IAEA in the media last year (ii), which both played down the lethal consequences of the nuclear accident at Chernobyl and failed to make a meaningful analysis of its wider effects on Europe and the world. The much-publicised IAEA estimate of a mere 4000 excess cancer deaths provoked an outcry among the scientific community and environmental NGOs, and was a dishonour to those who have and will suffer as a result of Chernobyl. This is one of a number of underestimates, which TORCH set out to rebut. There must be no mistaking the catastrophic dangers that are still very much associated with nuclear power."

TORCH was prepared by two UK scientists, Ian Fairlie PhD and David Sumner DPhil. Ian Fairlie will take part in a wider Greens press conference on nuclear energy in advance of Chernobyl's 20th anniversary on 19 April in the European Parliament in Brussels.

The Greens are also organising a conference in Kiev from 23-25 April (iii) to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster and present arguments as to why the deadly nuclear option must not be considered as an answer to Europe's current energy supply problems. On Saturday 22 April, there will be an excursion to the restricted access area around Chernobyl and the reactor.

The Other Report on Chernobyl (TORCH) (pdf)
TORCH - Executive summary (pdf)

Read also the new paper of the Green's on nuclear energy:
The nuclear endgame (pdf)
'How many more lives will Chernobyl claim' - a New Scientist article.

Editors note:

(i) The report was financed by Rebecca Harms MEP, the Altner-Combecher Foundation and the Hatzfeldt Foundation.

(ii) The claim was made following the publication of reports last year: IAEA/WHO 'Health Effects of the Chernobyl Accident and Special Health Care Programmes'. Report of the UN Chernobyl Forum Expert Group "Health" (EGH) Working draft, July 26 2005. IAEA/WHO Environmental Consequences of the Chernobyl Accident and their Remediation. Report of the UN Chernobyl Forum Expert Group "Environment" (EGE) Working draft, August 2005.

(iii) For more information on the conference click on the following link:
Chernobyl + 20



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