Chernobyl Secrets Revealed

Chernobyl Secrets Revealed

Chernobyl Killed Nearly One Million People:

Revealing and sobering information comes from a methodically well documented new book.

NEW YORK – Nearly one million people around the world died from exposure to radiation released by the 1986 nuclear disaster at the Chernobyl reactor. This is among the findings laid out in a new book from the New York Academy of Sciences published recently on the 24th anniversary of the famous meltdown at the Soviet facility.

The book, “Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment,” was compiled by authors Alexey Yablokov of the Center for Russian Environmental Policy in Moscow, and Vassily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko of the Institute of Radiation Safety, in Minsk, Belarus.
The authors examined more than 5,000 published articles and studies, most written in Slavic languages and never before available in English.
The authors said, “For the past 23 years, it has been clear that there is a danger greater than nuclear weapons concealed within nuclear power. Emissions from this one reactor exceeded a hundred-fold the radioactive contamination of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”
“No citizen of any country can be assured that he or she can be protected from radioactive contamination. One nuclear reactor can pollute half the globe,” they said. “Chernobyl fallout covers the entire Northern Hemisphere.”
Their revealing findings are in sharp contrast to estimates by the World Health Organization and the International Atomic Energy Agency that initially said only 31 people had died among the “liquidators.” The selfless (sacrificed) liquidators were those approximately 830,000 people who were in charge of extinguishing the fire at the Chernobyl reactor and deactivation and cleanup of the site. The liquidators were almost exclusively young people and among the most fit of the population.
By 2005, between 112,000 and 125,000 liquidators had died.
“On this 24th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, we now realize that the consequences were far worse than many researchers had believed,” says Janette Sherman, MD, the physician and toxicologist who edited the book.
Drawing upon extensive data and using the best science available, the authors estimate the number of deaths worldwide due to Chernobyl fallout from 1986 through 2004 was 985,000, a number that has since increased.

On April 26, 1986, two explosions occurred at reactor number four at the Chernobyl plant which tore the top from the reactor and its building and exposed the reactor core. The resulting fire sent a plume of radioactive fallout into the atmosphere and over large parts of the western Soviet Union, Europe and across the Northern Hemisphere. Large areas in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia had to be evacuated, many others should have.
Yablokov and his co-authors find that radioactive emissions from the stricken reactor, once believed to be 50 million curies, may have been as great as 10 billion curies, or 200 times greater than the initial estimate, and hundreds of times larger than the fallout from the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Nations outside the former Soviet Union received high doses of radioactive fallout as well, most notably Norway, Sweden, Finland, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Austria, Romania, Greece, and parts of the United Kingdom and Germany.
About 550 million Europeans and 150 to 230 million others in the Northern Hemisphere received notable contamination. Fallout reached the United States and Canada nine days after the disaster. My kids ate Miso generously for some time starting immediately after the meltdown.
The proportion of children considered healthy born to irradiated parents in Belarus, the Ukraine, and European Russia considered healthy fell from about 80 percent to less than 20 percent since 1986.
Numerous reports reviewed for this book document elevated disease rates in the Chernobyl area. These include increased fetal and infant deaths, birth defects, and diseases of the respiratory, digestive, musculoskeletal, nervous, endocrine, reproductive, hematological, urological, cardiovascular, genetic, immune, and other systems, as well as cancers and non-cancerous tumors.

Not surprisingly, in addition to adverse effects in humans, numerous other species have been contaminated, based upon studies of livestock, voles, birds, fish, plants, trees, bacteria, viruses, and other species. Obviously the entire surface of our planet, her water bodies and atmosphere were contaminated.
Foods produced in highly contaminated areas in the former Soviet Union were shipped, and consumed worldwide, affecting people and pets in all corners of the world. And people ate foods grown in the ‘secondarily contaminated’ European countries.
The authors state that the soil, foliage, and water in highly contaminated areas still contain substantial levels of radioactive chemicals, and will continue to harm humans for decades to come. ‘Decades’ is a gross understatement.
The book explores effects of Chernobyl fallout that arrived above the United States nine days after the disaster. Fallout entered the U.S. environment and food chain through rainfall. Levels of iodine-131 in milk, for example, were seven to 28 times above normal in May and June 1986. The authors found that the highest U.S. radiation levels were recorded in the Pacific Northwest.
Americans also consumed contaminated food imported from nations affected by the disaster.
Four years later, 25 percent of imported food was found to still be contaminated.
Almost no research on Chernobyl health effects in the United States has been conducted, the authors found, but one study by the Radiation and Public Health Project found that in the early 1990s, a few years after the meltdown, thyroid cancer in Connecticut children had nearly doubled.
This occurred at the same time that childhood thyroid cancer rates in the former Soviet Union were surging, as the thyroid gland is highly sensitive to radioactive iodine exposures.
The world now has 435 nuclear reactors and of these, 103 -104 are in the United States.
The New York Academy of Sciences says not enough attention has been paid to Eastern European research studies on the effects of Chernobyl at a time when corporations in several nations, including the United States, are attempting to build more nuclear reactors and to extend the years of operation of aging reactors.
In a statement, the academy said “Official discussions from the International Atomic Energy Agency and associated United Nations’ agencies (e.g. the Chernobyl Forum reports) have largely downplayed or ignored many of the findings reported in the Eastern European scientific literature and consequently have erred by not including these assessments.”

The vast majority killed and sickened by Chernobyl were not even born at the time of the accident.
The preface ‘Chernobyl’ has entered the lexicon as part of new compound words denoting clinically recognized serious ill conditions, such as: “Chernobyl AIDS.” One of the main ways that radiation damages the body is that it weakens the immune system, leading to death from infectious diseases that the person might have otherwise survived.
“Chernobyl babies” are children who have serious malformations such as organs outside their bodies, shortened limbs, or no brain (only a brain stem, so they breathe, but can never think). Some have essentially no bones — they are called “Chernobyl jellyfish children”. The only other place on Earth kids with this condition have been documented so far is on the Marshall Islands after nuclear weapons testing in the 1950s.
“Chernobyl limbs” are deformities of the arms and/or legs, more common in the more contaminated zones
The “Chern Forest, Red Forest” or jokingly, The Nobyl Woods, the area immediately surrounding Chernobyl, hundreds of square miles where the trees have turned color.
The “Chernobyl effect” is an increased thyroid cancer rate.
“Children of Chernobyl,” “Physicians of Chernobyl,” “Widows of Chernobyl” and “Liquidators Unions” are large groups of people who have been adversely affected by the tragedy.
In a similar way, some physicians, care givers, researchers and afflicted individuals have come to use the preface TMI to describe health and environmental issues resulting from the Three Mile Island disaster in the U.S. A myriad of complications continue to show up in and around the TMI site in Pennsylvania and for hundreds of miles in a broad swath mostly to the east.

We all are negatively affected by Chernobyl. Chernobyl’s radioactive isotopes continue to invade us all.

I respectfully remind us all that if we support nuclear power, if we do nothing, heck, if we fail to loudly and strongly resist such nonsense in every reasonable way, the ‘Chernobyl-izing’ of the world for time immortal, but to a greater degree than we can imagine, will be the shameful legacy left to all who come after.

Please don’t let that happen.

Sources include:

Environmental News Service
Helen Caldicott, MD
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
Green America

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