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[cdn-nucl-l] Re: Request for suggestion [ "factor of 1000" ]
Why blame media/journalists? Most numbers are from governments and NGOs, even
the industry itself. Have our own organizations put out strong Press Release
statements to respond to mis-/dis-information? ANS? CNS? HPS? NEI? your
We need to do what we can do to push our own organizations to act. The we can
"Franta, Jaroslav" wrote:
> Please see Chernobyl article below.
> As I said previously, public trust is required to some extent to believe
> this "factor of 1000" in the face of constant media reports of thousands of
> victims of the Chernobyl disaster.
> Most of the electronic media reports last week used the figure of ~4000
> deaths due to Chernobyl. The Discovery Channel reported 200 deaths. The
> National Post / AP article below reports 30,000 deaths.
> People look at me with disbelieve when I cite the UNSCEAR data.
> Most would probably think this "factor of 1000" applies the other way.
> Nothing is being done to discipline the profession of journalism.
> There is a code of ethics for journalism (see for example
> http://spj.org/ethics/code.htm ), but this is generally ignored.
> Chernobyl nuclear power plant closes Site of 1986 disaster
> National Post, with files from news services
> Mikhail Metzel, The Associated Press
> Leonid Kuchma, the President of Ukraine, presides over a celebrity-studded
> crowd at a Kyiv concert hall yesterday as guests watch a live broadcast of
> the last switch being turned off at the Chernobyl nuclear plant.
> The decrepit plant, a chilling symbol of the hidden dangers of the atomic
> age, spewed nearly nine tonnes of radioactive dust across three quarters of
> Europe in a calamitous accident on April 26, 1986, which has since claimed
> about 30,000 lives.
> Designed by the Soviet Union to become the largest nuclear generating
> station in the world, Chernobyl, tucked away in a pine forest 125 kilometres
> north of Kyiv, instead has become synonymous with disaster and helped hasten
> the collapse of communism.
> When Chernobyl's explosion ripped the roof off the plant's fourth nuclear
> reactor block, it sent 100,000 nearby residents fleeing for their lives and
> released more than 500 times the radioactive fallout of the two atomic bombs
> dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of the Second World War.
> The explosion rattled the Soviet Union to its core, stripping the lustre
> from Mikhail Gorbachev's talk of glasnost, or openness, and exposing the raw
> flaws of a brutally blundering government.
> Nine years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Chernobyl's last
> functioning reactor was extinguished yesterday in a celebrity-studded
> ceremony that saw 2,000 specially invited guests crowd into Kyiv's glitzy
> concert hall, the Palace of Ukraine, to watch Leonid Kuchma, Ukraine's
> President, preside via television over the plant's final shutdown.
> Pierre Cardin, the French couturier, rubbed shoulders with Bill Richardson,
> the U.S. Energy Secretary, and Mikhail Kasyanov, Russia's Prime Minister.
> Mr. Kuchma delivered a televised address to mark the occasion.
> "This is a date which will go down in the history of Ukraine and the world,"
> he predicted. "Today, I gave the order to shut down the third reactor of
> Chernobyl, the last one still operational. This means the closure of an
> installation which has entered history as the worst catastrophe, which had
> the most terrible consequences.
> "What is Chernobyl for Ukraine?" he asked. "It's almost three-and-a-half
> million victims of the catastrophe and its consequences. Almost 10% of our
> territory tainted by radiation; 160,000 people who had to leave the places
> where they were born and move elsewhere."
> One in every 16 Ukrainians and millions of Russians and Belarussians still
> suffer health disorders as a result of the Chernobyl meltdown. In Ukraine,
> cases of thyroid cancer have surged 100-fold in some areas.
> Three million children require treatment as a result of the disaster,
> thyroid cancer among adolescents has jumped tenfold in some affected areas
> and birth defects and growth problems in Ukrainian children have more than
> By some counts, 30,000 people have died as a result of the accident and
> ecologists worry nuclear-contaminated runoff from Chernobyl may work its way
> into the nearby Dnieper River and eventually the Black Sea, poisoning a
> watershed that provides nine million Ukrainians with drinking water.
> But yesterday, on Mr. Kuchma's command, Sergiy Bashdovy, a 30-year-old
> engineer, turned a switch marked BAZ, short for "rapid emergency defence,"
> and sent containment rods sliding into the reactor core to stop the nuclear
> reaction at Chernobyl's last functioning reactor.
> Yesterday's shutdown was brokered as part of a US$2.3-billion aid package
> from the world's richest countries.
> In exchange for closing Chernobyl, Western nations, including Canada, have
> promised to help Ukraine build replacement reactors elsewhere.
> Chernobyl's No. 2 reactor was destroyed in a massive fire in 1991, while the
> No. 1 reactor was closed in 1996 after a series of failures and small leaks.
> The remaining No. 3 reactor had been plagued by minor accidents and
> technical glitches and had been operating only intermittently since Dec. 6
> because of a radioactive leak in its cooling system.
> Chernobyl's last reactor provided Ukraine with 5% of its electricity. Its
> closure yesterday will ultimately cost 6,000 people their jobs.
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