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[cdn-nucl-l] " RADON EXPOSURE GREATER THAN CHERNOBYL EFFECTS IN UKRAINE "
NUCLEONICS WEEK - July 5, 2001
STUDY SAYS RADON EXPOSURE GREATER THAN CHERNOBYL EFFECTS IN UKRAINE
Lifetime radiation doses from radon to the Ukrainian population are 75 times
those due to all man-made factors including the Chernobyl accident,
according to results of a recent radioecology study by Grigoriy Kovalenko
and Kostiantyn Rudya.
Kovalenko is deputy director of the Ukrainian Research Institute of Ecology
Problems and Rudya is scientific director of the International Chernobyl
Natural background radiation is responsible for 4.5 milliSieverts per year
in Ukraine, compared to a world average of 2.4 mSv, with radon daughters
responsible for 80% of that dose, they found. The highest radon doses are in
the Dnepro-petrovsk, Donetsk, Zaporozhye, Kherson, and Chernovtsy
The collective dose from nuclear power plant operations, they said, is
roughly one-hundredth of that caused by fossil-fired generators, which
produce about the same electricity nationally.
The study recommends addressing priority issues such as radon availability
in dwellings, post-Chernobyl contamination of territories, and public use of
coal for heating purposes.
Radiation impacts from the uranium mining and processing industries, as well
as from releases by either conventional or nuclear power generators, are
only of regional significance, the authors found. They noted that Chernobyl
problems have been handled positively, if only partially, in terms of
unlike outstanding issues associated with radon and other radiation sources.
The authors have just published a book entitled "Radio-ecology in Ukraine"
that is intended for a broad specialized audience, students, and
potentially, international experts and organizations.
-Alexei Breus, Kiev