A comprehensive program to protect the population from ionizing radiation is being jointly developed by non-government organizations and government services. This became known during a press conference at the Central Ukrainian News Bureau (CBN) in Kropyvnytsky on February 18.
Liudmyla Shestakova, Executive Director of the Flora NGO, noted that about 95% of Ukraine’s explored uranium ore reserves are concentrated in the Kirovograd Oblast. And this leads to a natural and man-made burden on the environment and human health. However, the program to protect the population from ionizing radiation in the region, according to her, has not been working for several years.
To change this situation, civic activists and the Kirovograd Oblast Laboratory Centre formed a working group to develop a new version of the programme, which has already held its first meeting. It was announced at the press conference that the programme should be publicly discussed by July 2021.
Activists believe that the programme can be a continuation of the relevant regional programme, for which the government did not allocate funds in 2017, and successfully implemented in the field of the program “Stop Radon”.
According to the head of the Oblast Laboratory Centre Nadiya Operchuk, technological processes in uranium mines, tailings, blasting in quarries and other factors contribute to the emergence of radon gas and its decay products, which affects the radiation background.
“According to the UN Scientific Committee, the average annual dose of human radiation due to the natural component has doubled and is 2.5 mSv per year. In Ukraine, according to recent studies, this dose is 3.38 mSv per year. As for the Kirovograd Oblast, radon and its decay products play a leading role in the total dose of exposure to natural factors. They are approximately ¾ of the annual individual dose of human exposure,” said Nadiya Operchuk.
The level of cancer in the Kirovgrad Oblast, according to the National Cancer Registry, according to 2019 is 475 cases per 100 thousand population.
Read more about the harm of radon to human health in the article.