RT News & Documentary Films – 2015-05-16 23:34:26
‘No One Tells Us the Truth’:
Locals Near Chernobyl Fear Radiation, Kiev Says Fire Put Out
Paula Slier / RT News
(May 5, 2015) — Ukrainian firefighters have said flames in the forests around Chernobyl’s exclusion zone have been put out and there is no radiation threat. However, locals recall the 1986 catastrophe and fear that just as then officials are concealing the truth.
“No one tells us the truth,” a local woman, Olga, told RT’s Paula Slier. “Nobody told us when there was a disaster in 1986. We will never hear the truth from the government.”
On Saturday, Ukrainian emergency services said that firefighters have managed to extinguish the fire that has been raging through forests in the Chernobyl exclusion zone since Tuesday.
“The fire was localized at 10:30 April 29. The fire was extinguished at 9:00 May 2,” said a statement from the emergency services.
The forest blaze that came within 30 kilometers of the abandoned Chernobyl power plant, triggered an emergency operation, with police and National Guard mobilized to bring the flames under control.
The level of background radiation where the fire was reported has been registered to stand at 21 microroentgen per hour, with the safe level up to 50 microroentgen per hour.
However, people in the area are concerned that the fumes from the fire are radioactive.
“Nobody has warned of anything. Everybody is working, children are on the streets. There have been no warnings at all,” a local man from the village near the Chernobyl exclusion zone told RT.
“We have no information. We don’t know how dangerous it is. We have two kids, they are 6 and 10 years old. We don’t know if it’s dangerous or if we have to run…” another local added.
While officials assured the villagers that there is no radiation threat in the area, an expert has confirmed to RT that such fears are justifiable.
The fires in the exclusion zone are dangerous and everyone understands this, Yury Bandazhevsky, a scientist working on sanitary consequences of the Chernobyl disaster, said.
“The territory is contaminated, the soil is contaminated by radioactive elements. And not only soil, but plants, trees.”
If the trees, which have been absorbing radioactivity for almost 30 years, are on fire, then radioactive elements “may spread with wind over long distances,” he said.
Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant’s reactor exploded on April 26, 1986. As a result of the explosion and fire, a huge radioactive cloud spread into the atmosphere, covering thousands of miles of Soviet and European territories.
Not only was Ukraine affected, but also adjoining areas in Russia and Belarus. Radiation spikes were recorded in Sweden, Norway, Austria and Finland. Approximately 100,000 square kilometers of land was significantly contaminated.
Fears of Radiation Spreading
Paula Slier / RT News
(May 10, 2015) — Firefighters in Ukraine say they’ve extinguished the last wildfires near the abandoned Chernobyl nuclear power plant. While officials are assuring that no. Firefighters in Ukraine say they’ve extinguished the last wildfires near the abandoned Chernobyl nuclear power plant. While officials are assuring that no increase in.
(November 27, 2011) — A video for my ISU project. Pictures are credited to Paul Fusco at Magnum Photos.
(March 16, 2014) — During the long years of background radiation, nature and all living things near the Chernobyl NPP came under the influence of mutations. This video is the first evidence of mutating animals living in the area. Perhaps it is a moose, changed beyond recognition under the influence of radiation.
Radioactive Animals In Chernobyl Mutations
(April 2, 2014) — As humans were evacuated from the area in 1986, animals moved in despite the radiation. The flora and fauna of the Red Forest have been dramatically affected by the accident. It seems that the biodiversity of the Red Forest has increased in the years following the disaster. There are reports of some stunted plants in the area. Wild boar have multiplied eight-fold between 1986 and 1988.
The site of the Red Forest remains one of the most contaminated areas in the world. However, it has proved to be an astonishingly fertile habitat for many endangered species. The evacuation of the area surrounding the nuclear reactor has created a lush and unique wildlife refuge.
In the 1996 BBC Horizon documentary, “Inside Chernobyl’s Sarcophagus,” birds are seen flying in and out of large holes in the structure of the former nuclear reactor. The long-term impact of the fallout on the flora and fauna of the region is not fully known, as plants and animals have significantly different and varying radiologic tolerance.
Some birds are reported with stunted tail feathers (which interferes with breeding). Storks, wolves, beavers, and eagles have been reported in the area.
Today, radiation levels in the Red Forest can be as high as one Roentgen per hour, but levels of ten millirÃ¶ntgens per hour are more common. More than 90% of the radioactivity of the Red Forest is concentrated in the soil.
Scientists are planning to use the nearby, radioactive and abandoned town of Pripyat and surrounding area as a unique laboratory for modeling the dispersal of radionuclides by the detonation of a dirty bomb or an attack with chemical or biological agents. The area offers an unparalleled opportunity to fully understand the passage of radioactive debris through an urban and rural area.
The nature of the area seems to have not only survived, but flourished due to significant reduction of human impact. The zone has become a “Radiological Reserve”, a classic example of an involuntary park. There were thought to be cases of mutant deformity in animals of the Red Forest, but none have been proven, except partial albinism in swallows.
Currently, there is concern about contamination of the soil with Strontium-90 and Caesium-137, which have half-lives of about 30 years. The highest levels of Caesium-137 are found in the surface layers of the soil where they are absorbed by plants, and insects living there today. Some scientists fear that radioactivity will affect the land for the next several generations.
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