Wartime Radiation Hazard: SSTC NRS Conducted Events to Commemorate the Chornobyl Accident

Yesterday, on 25 April, the State Scientific and Technical Center for Nuclear and Radiation Safety presented the exhibition exposition “Destroyed Borders: Radiation Survey of the Kyiv Region” at the National Chornobyl Museum on the 37th anniversary of the Chornobyl accident. It will be open for a year, so those who wish to visit it will still get such an opportunity.

The opening took place at 12 o’clock, the guests of the museum, specialists in the field of nuclear and radiation safety and representatives of the mass media joined the commemoration.

On the same day at 5 PM, the specialists of the enterprise held an event “NON-lecture: Wartime Radiation”, where the head of the department of emergency preparedness and radiation monitoring of SSTC NRS and SURVEY project leader Yulia Balashevska presented to the audience the general information on the project and the results of radiation survey on the de-occupied territories in Kyiv oblast within it.

In particular, Yulia Balashevska noted that the increased radiation hazard due to hostilities might be associated with damage and looting of enterprises and institutions that use radionuclide radiation sources, for example, metallurgical plants, nuclear medicine centers, mining enterprises; accidents at nuclear power plants (NPP); use of nuclear weapons or dirty bomb.

“Due to the temporary occupation of part of the territories of Ukraine, there is a certain risk that Russians may carry out unauthorized actions with radiation sources in the occupied territories, and it is not known exactly where and with whom they can finally appear. When people return home after the de-occupation of territories, housing should be checked for the absence of not only explosive objects, but also possible radioactive contamination or the presence of “abandoned” radiation sources in it”, the scientist emphasized.

In addition, experts warn against unreasonable iodine prophylaxis, which consists in preventing the accumulation of a radioactive isotope of iodine in the thyroid gland by its saturation with stable iodine. Iodine prophylaxis is effective only in the event of an accident at a nuclear power plant with a confirmed release of radioactive iodine, if the radioactive cloud is moving in the direction of your stay. Local executive authorities should notify and inform on the start of iodine prophylaxis.

In general, the lecture seemed to be informative for the guests of the Museum and the specialists who joined it, and it was not the last one, as the lecturer noted, because the project did not end with radiation survey. SSTC NRS specialists plan to conduct traveling lectures for communities and distribute informational data among them.

“We are doing this work so that people not only know about the SURVEY project, but also have a reliable information source and basic knowledge about the radiation hazard posed during wartime”, Yulia Balashevska emphasized.

At the end of the lecture, those who wished were invited to get acquainted with the professional dosimetry equipment used during the SURVEY project, and to see the radiation survey laboratory.

According to the arrangers – SSTC NRS – the event was held to raise public awareness on radiation safety, to inform on the consequences of the russian federation’s invasion of the territory of the exclusion zone and the zone of unconditional (mandatory) resettlement. The issues raised during the lecture are relevant for not only specialists in the field of nuclear and radiation safety, but also for every ordinary citizen in a country that is at war.

Recall that the SURVEY project is being implemented to identify and reduce the risks of public exposure as a result of contact with radiation sources/radioactive contamination, as well as to reduce public anxiety due to imaginary risks associated with the staying of occupiers in the exclusion zone. The experience gained during the project will be used in the future when surveying the de-occupied industrial eastern regions of Ukraine.

According to SSTC NRS