Chernobyl: the legacy


Photo from Jeremy Nicholl on flickr

I have mentioned this before, but it’s worth throwing it up again (and again)

Given the low radiation doses received by most people exposed to the Chernobyl accident, no effects on fertility, numbers of stillbirths, adverse pregnancy outcomes or delivery complications have been demonstrated nor are there expected to be any. A modest but steady increase in reported congenital malformations in both contaminated and uncontaminated areas of Belarus appears related to improved reporting and not to radiation exposure

Source: World Health Organisation

It is a similar story for the survivors of the Hirishimo and Nagaski nuclear explosions.

This is always greeted with (i) disbelief, (ii) scepticism or (iii) amazement (at best) by my senior students.

I guess it’s very to argue with our gut feeling. But this is ultimately why we have this thing called SCIENCE, even if it is warts and all.