【車諾比核災24週年】最新報告:累計死亡人數逼近百萬 | 台灣環境資訊協會-環境資訊中心

【車諾比核災24週年】最新報告:累計死亡人數逼近百萬

2010年04月27日
摘譯自2010年4月26日ENS美國,紐約報導;段譽豪編譯;蔡麗伶審校

紐約科學院26日在車諾比事故發生24週年的紀念日上,發表一本新書指出,全世界有近百萬人因為暴露在1986年前蘇聯的車諾比核電廠事故產生的輻射物質而死亡。

這本名為《車諾比災變對人與環境的影響(Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment)》的新書,是由莫斯科環境政策中心的雅布羅科夫(Alexey Yablokov)以及白俄羅斯明斯克輻射安全研究所的涅斯傑連科(Vassily Nesterenko)與涅斯傑連科(Alexey Nesterenko)所合著。

作者檢視了5000多篇發表的文章與報告,其中大多數是以斯拉夫語所撰寫,且從未以英文發表過。

「沒有一個國家的人民能夠完全放心,以為他們可以得到保護而不受輻射污染的威脅,一個核子反應爐就可以污染半個地球,」他們說,「車諾比事故的後遺症影響了整個北半球」

他們的研究結果與世界衛生組織(WHO)和國際原子能總署(IAEA)所估計的大有出入,根據這些機構表示,在災變現場大約83萬負責滅火與清理善後的工作人員中,只有31人死亡。

該書認為,直到2005年為止,有11.2萬至12.5萬名當時在場處理的人員死亡。

「在車諾比災變24週年之際,我們現在知道它所造成的後果遠比許多學者所知的嚴重。」本書的編輯毒理學醫師薛曼(Janette Sherman)如此表示。

藉由大量的資料統計後,作者估計在1986年至2004年間,全球因為車諾比事故的死亡人數,已經增加至98.5萬人。

相對的,2005年時WHO與IAEA所估計的死亡人數大約是9000人,另外約有20萬人因此生病。

1986年4月26日,車諾比核變廠的4號反應器發生了兩起爆炸,將反應器與圍阻體的頂端炸開並且使反應爐心暴露在外。產生的大火將輻射塵吹進大氣層,散佈在前蘇聯西部的廣大區域、歐洲並橫跨整個北半球。烏克蘭、白俄羅斯與俄羅斯的大面積區域被疏散。

雅布羅科夫和其他共同作者發現,受損反應爐所放射出的輻射量,從原先預估的5千萬居里,可能大幅增加200倍至100億居里,強度超過落在廣島和長崎的原子彈數百倍。

這本書中檢視了許多有關車諾比地區疾病發生率升高的文獻。其中包括了嬰幼兒的死亡、出生缺陷以及各樣呼吸、消化、肌肉骨骼、神經、內分泌、生殖、血液、泌尿、心血管、遺傳、免疫與其他系統的疾病,也包括良性與惡性腫瘤。

除了對人類的不利影響,根據有關牲畜、田鼠、鳥類、魚類、植物、樹木、細菌、病毒與其他物種的基礎研究指出,許多物種也已被輻射污染。

在前蘇聯高度污染區域所生產的食品,已經運到世界各地,並被消費者所購買,使許多其他國家的人民也受影響。其中有一些,但不是全部的受污染食品被檢測了出來而沒有出貨。

作者們警告說,土壤,植物,水在高度污染的地區仍含有相當程度的放射性化學物質,並會繼續危害人類長達數十年。

車諾比事故對健康的影響在美國少有研究,作者們只發現一項在90年代初期,有關輻射與公共衛生計畫的研究,指出在車諾比事故後的數年內,康乃狄克州兒童的甲狀腺癌發生率增加了一倍。

甲狀腺是對放射性碘高度敏感的腺體,在此同一期間,前蘇聯兒童的甲狀腺癌發生率也正好飆升。

全世界現有435座核子反應爐,其中有104個在美國。

紐約科學院指出,當包括美國等一些國家的大型企業正試圖建造更多核子反應爐,並且延長老舊反應器的使用年限時,我們沒有對東歐車諾比事故所造成的影響研究投以足夠多的關注。

該學院在聲明中說,「IAEA與聯合國的相關機構(例如車諾比論壇報告)的官方討論中,大量淡化或忽視了許多東歐科學文獻的數據,而未包括這些數據的結果使得評估結果出現了偏差。」

Chernobyl Radiation Killed Nearly One Million People: New Book
NEW YORK, New York, April 26, 2010 (ENS)

Nearly one million people around the world died from exposure to radiation released by the 1986 nuclear disaster at the Chernobyl reactor, finds a new book from the New York Academy of Sciences published today on the 24th anniversary of the meltdown at the Soviet facility.

The book, "Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment," was compiled by authors Alexey Yablokov of the Center for Russian Environmental Policy in Moscow, and Vassily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko of the Institute of Radiation Safety, in Minsk, Belarus.

The authors examined more than 5,000 published articles and studies, most written in Slavic languages and never before available in English.

"No citizen of any country can be assured that he or she can be protected from radioactive contamination. One nuclear reactor can pollute half the globe," they said. "Chernobyl fallout covers the entire Northern Hemisphere."

Their findings are in contrast to estimates by the World Health Organization and the International Atomic Energy Agency that initially said only 31 people had died among the "liquidators," those approximately 830,000 people who were in charge of extinguishing the fire at the Chernobyl reactor and deactivation and cleanup of the site.

The book finds that by 2005, between 112,000 and 125,000 liquidators had died.

"On this 24th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, we now realize that the consequences were far worse than many researchers had believed," says Janette Sherman, MD, the physician and toxicologist who edited the book.

Drawing upon extensive data, the authors estimate the number of deaths worldwide due to Chernobyl fallout from 1986 through 2004 was 985,000, a number that has since increased.

By contrast, WHO and the IAEA estimated 9,000 deaths and some 200,000 people sickened in 2005.

On April 26, 1986, two explosions occured at reactor number four at the Chernobyl plant which tore the top from the reactor and its building and exposed the reactor core. The resulting fire sent a plume of radioactive fallout into the atmosphere and over large parts of the western Soviet Union, Europe and across the Northern Hemisphere. Large areas in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia had to be evacuated.

Yablokov and his co-authors find that radioactive emissions from the stricken reactor, once believed to be 50 million curies, may have been as great as 10 billion curies, or 200 times greater than the initial estimate, and hundreds of times larger than the fallout from the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Numerous reports reviewed for this book document elevated disease rates in the Chernobyl area. These include increased fetal and infant deaths, birth defects, and diseases of the respiratory, digestive, musculoskeletal, nervous, endocrine, reproductive, hematological, urological, cardiovascular, genetic, immune, and other systems, as well as cancers and non-cancerous tumors.

In addition to adverse effects in humans, numerous other species have been contaminated, based upon studies of livestock, voles, birds, fish, plants, trees, bacteria, viruses, and other species.

Foods produced in highly contaminated areas in the former Soviet Union were shipped, and consumed worldwide, affecting persons in many other nations. Some, but not all, contamination was detected and contaminated foods not shipped.

The authors warn that the soil, foliage, and water in highly contaminated areas still contain substantial levels of radioactive chemicals, and will continue to harm humans for decades to come.

Little research on Chernobyl health effects in the United States has been conducted, the authors found, but one study by the Radiation and Public Health Project found that in the early 1990s, a few years after the meltdown, thyroid cancer in Connecticut children had nearly doubled.

This occurred at the same time that childhood thyroid cancer rates in the former Soviet Union were surging, as the thyroid gland is highly sensitive to radioactive iodine exposures.

The world now has 435 nuclear reactors and of these, 104 are in the United States.

The New York Academy of Sciences says not enough attention has been paid to Eastern European research studies on the effects of Chernobyl at a time when corporations in several nations, including the United States, are attempting to build more nuclear reactors and to extend the years of operation of aging reactors.

The academy said in a statement, "Official discussions from the International Atomic Energy Agency and associated United Nations' agencies (e.g. the Chernobyl Forum reports) have largely downplayed or ignored many of the findings reported in the Eastern European scientific literature and consequently have erred by not including these assessments."