This report took me by surprise:
Fewer than 60 deaths have been directly attributed to radiation released by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident, and the final toll could be thousands less than originally believed, the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency said Monday.
However, anxiety caused by fear of death and illness from radiation poisoning is causing serious mental health problems, and such worries “show no signs of diminishing and may even be spreading,” the International Atomic Energy Agency said, citing a report compiled by 100 scientists.
The death toll attributed to radiation could reach 4,000, said the report, compiled on behalf of the Chernobyl Forum, a group that includes the Vienna-based IAEA, seven other U.N. agencies and the governments of Ukraine — where Chernobyl is located — Belarus and Russia.
Ukraine said previously it had registered 4,400 deaths related to the accident, and early speculation following the radiation release predicted that tens of thousands would die.
But forum chairman Dr. Burton Bennett said Monday that previous death tolls were inflated, perhaps “to attract attention to the accident, to attract sympathy.” He said the majority of workers and residents around the plant received low doses of radiation, and that poverty and “lifestyle diseases” posed a “far greater threat” to local communities.
I am sure there will be a follow up on this.
cf. 3000 people dying each year in China’s coal mines alone.
that doesn’t take into account the effects of Global Warming, largely caused by fossil fuels.
if the ‘worst case scenario’ of nuclear is chernobyl, then Nuclear is the best short term option for environmentalists.
you hear widely different accounts on this score, but i would posit another possible worst case scenario: that Nuclear is, and will remain, ridiculously expensive.
I say nuke, too. Put it in my backyard. Hell, I already have the 10th largest power plant in America there
Gotta keep those “environmental” Web sites open and those hybrids running (tongue, cheek, you get the picture)
I’m all for nuclear power, but let’s not forget the difficulty in ascertaining who died from radiation-related causes.
(Tho many Russians may have died of cirrhosis before the radiation could get ’em.)
Good news :)
The nuclear bogeyman is dead! Long live the oil bogeyman!
Good news, if accurate. God knows we could use some.
My dad used to design nuke plants for Westinghouse, way back in the day. Nuke Power = Cleaner Air.
Excuse me for asking this question, but why did it take almost 20 years to find out this information?
I wonder about those Lapplanders that can’t sell Reindeer milk because it’s too hot? Is Chernobyl still to blame for that or is there something else going on?
anxiety caused by fear of death and illness from radiation poisoning is causing serious mental health problems, and such worries “show no signs of diminishing and may even be spreading,” the International Atomic Energy Agency said, citing a report compiled by 100 scientists.
Wait, the bggest problem is people worrying about radiation? I’m totally on board with the idea that it wasn’t as bad as advertised, but that seems a little farfetched.
That said, the Ukraine is certainly undergoing a renaissance of sorts. Their economic growth is way up there this year. Nice to see them doing well after the horrors they endured in the forced famines of the 1930s.
Rome, the study was to count those whose lives had been cut short due to lingering radiation effects such as cancer or immune dysfunctions. A person who died fifteen years after the event when they “should” have lived another fifty would have been counted as killed by the accident. In other words, it took twenty years for that data to happen.
I apologize, I did not realize people could have cancer that long. My father had cancer for five years, and I was under the impression that was one of the longer durations. I don’t know many people who’ve had cancer, as you can tell. Most people I’ve heard of having cancer only have it for a few months or a couple of years.
At the same time, I googled the terms “had cancer for 15 years” and “had cancer for 20 years” and it seems that there are people who have had cancer for 20 years… so maybe, in that case, they should have waited longer?
I will admit, I didn’t click the link. I don’t always click links, they make my computer run slow sometimes (gotta get a new computer one of these days). Thank you for the imformation.
Rome – Sometimes cancer doesn’t show up in response to a catalyst for a decade or more as well…
This is interesting. I’ve been a long proponent of Nuclear power, mainly because I believe even with it’s problems it is better than the status quo.
Rome…no, we have pretty good longitudinal predictions once we have enough data. At this point, we can make predictions.
Notice though, that they don’t talk about “years of life lost to the effects of the accident”, but rather “people killed as a result of the accident”. Many of the thousands of childhood thyroid cancer cases they mention will eventually yield reduced life expectancy, although death will not occur *as a result* of the cancer.
the friendly grizzly
FEWER than expected, not less.
the friendly grizzly (recovering grammarian)
And less than died because of the flood in New Orleans.
Ted Keeedys car killed more people then Three Mile Island