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Effects of the Accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Powerplant: Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Nuclear Regulation of the Committee on Environment

Effects of the Accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Powerplant: Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Nuclear Regulation of the Committee on Environment

ISBN: 9781331730439
Publisher: Forgotten Books
Publication Date: 2015-09-27
Number of pages: 194
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Excerpt from Effects of the Accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Powerplant: Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Nuclear Regulation of the Committee on Environment and Public Works United States Senate One Hundred Second Congress Second Session, July 22, 1992

The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:41 a.m. in room 406, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Bob Graham [chairman of the subcommittee] presiding.

Present: Senators Graham and Lieberman.

Opening Statement Of Hon. Bob Graham, U.S. Senator From The State Of Florida

Senator Graham. Good morning. The Subcommittee on Nuclear Regulation will come to order.

Today the subcommittee will examine the effects on public health and environment of the accident that occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in April of 1986, We will also use this as an opportunity to examine what needs to be done with the after effects of Chernobyl and what should be United States international policy relative to Soviet-designed nuclear plants in the former Soviet Union and other parts of the world.

The explosion of the reactor at Chernobyl led to the largest single-source release of radiation into the atmosphere that has ever been recorded. The accident released approximately 50 times more radioactivity than was released by the atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl accident has affected millions of people.

According to the official statistics of the former Soviet Union, at least 31 fire fighters and plant operators died within days of the accident from high radiation exposure. There is considerable evidence that the actual death toll from acute immediate exposure was much higher. Hundreds of thousands of persons who lived within 30 kilometers of the accident were evacuated from their homes. They never were able to return. Over 600, 000 army soldiers and miners were brought in from all over the former Soviet Union to stabilize the damaged reactor in the days and months following the accident. Many of these liquidators received doses comparable to the doses received by the survivors of the bomb blast at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Some may have received much more.

Several million people continue to live in areas that received significant radioactive fallout from the accident.

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