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2016 | 4 | 44-60
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Chernobyl Liquidators - the people and the doses

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The clean-up operations following the Chernobyl accident were arguably the greatest in the history of mankind. This paper is not intended to give a comprehensive review of the Chernobyl related research, we present only a review of the scientific literature available till now about the “liquidators”, i.e. people who performed the task of decontamination work near the damaged Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Most of the approximately 300,000 liquidators who took part in the mitigation of the local consequences of the Chernobyl accident between 1986 and 1989 received only low radiation doses which are comparable or lower than those documented in nuclear worker registries. The health consequences from these radiation doses are too small to be identifiable in any epidemiological study that does not target specific sub-groups with potentially higher exposure. From our review of the published literature, several criteria are derived which could be used to identify potentially suitable sub-populations; in particular, among those being the liquidators who participated in the clean-up work during in 1986, including CNPP staff, special groups such as the “sarcophagus workers” (39), helicopter crews (3, 48), liquidators from the Institute of Biophysics who had participated in clean-up work in Chernobyl (12, 20), the Samoilenko group (12), sarcophagus builders (12) and groups other that the aforementioned.
Physical description
  • Department of Ecology and Evolution, Faculty of Biology and Medicine, University of Lausanne, Biophore - 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
  • nstituto Pirenaico de Ecología (IPE-CSIC), Nuestra Señora de la Victoria s/n, 20700 Jaca, Spain
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