Author(s): Yablokov AV, Nesterenko VB, Nesterenko AV
More than 22 years have passed since the Chernobyl catastrophe burst upon and changed our world. In just a few days, the air, natural waters, flowers, trees, woods, rivers, and seas turned to potential sources of danger to people, as radioactive substances emitted by the destroyed reactor fell upon all life. Throughout the Northern Hemisphere radioactivity covered most living spaces and became a source of potential harm for all living things. Naturally, just after the failure, public response was very strong and demonstrated mistrust of atomic engineering. A number of countries decided to stop the construction of new nuclear power stations. The enormous expenses required to mitigate the negative consequences of Chernobyl at once “raised the price” of nuclear-generated electric power. This response disturbed the governments of many countries, international organizations, and official bodies in charge of nuclear technology and led to a paradoxical polarization as to how to address the issues of those injured by the Chernobyl catastrophe and the effects of chronic irradiation on the health of people living in contaminated areas.