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Greenpeace investigation challenges nuclear agency on Chornobyl radiation levels

Greenpeace Germany is concerned that the IAEA is severely compromised in its role on nuclear safety and security in Ukraine by its ties to Russia’s nuclear state agency, ROSATOM, including its current IAEA Deputy Director Mikhail Chudakov, a long term ROSATOM official. 

 https://www.greenpeace.org/international/press-release/54762/greenpeace-investigation-challenges-nuclear-agency-on-chornobyl-radiation-levels20 July 2022 

Kyiv, Ukraine – A Greenpeace Germany investigation team working with Ukrainian scientists at Chornobyl has found radiation levels in areas where Russian military operations occurred to be at least three times higher than the estimation by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).[1] In April 2022, the IAEA provided very limited data with assurances that radiation levels were “normal” and not a major environmental or public safety issue.[2] 

The investigation team in Chornobyl also documented that Russian military actions against essential laboratories, databases and radiation monitoring systems have caused severe damage to the scientific infrastructure that was developed with the international scientific community. This includes damage to the lab equipment needed to study the impact of radiation on people and the environment, which threatens the safety of current and future generations.

Shaun Burnie, senior nuclear specialist at Greenpeace Germany said:

“Understanding the complex radiation effects at Chornobyl is essential for the world and that means conducting research and working with international scientists. All of that has been put at risk by Russia’s war against Ukraine. Scientists and workers conducting essential radiation hazard monitoring are now threatened by an unknown number of Russian landmines and anti-personnel explosives. This is one further outrageous legacy of Russia’s illegal war and is a crime against the environment and global science. The IAEA appears reluctant to explain the scale of the radiation hazards at Chornobyl and the impact of the Russian occupation.”

Greenpeace Germany is concerned that the IAEA is severely compromised in its role on nuclear safety and security in Ukraine by its ties to Russia’s nuclear state agency, ROSATOM, including its current IAEA Deputy Director Mikhail Chudakov, a long term ROSATOM official.

Jan Vande Putte, lead radiation specialist at Greenpeace Belgium who also participated in the investigation said:

“We measured levels of gamma radiation inside the abandoned Russian trenches that qualify it as low-level nuclear waste. Clearly the Russian military was operating in a highly radioactive environment, but that’s not what the IAEA is communicating. We can only conclude that the IAEA for some reason decided not to make an effort to fully investigate. It’s clear from our survey that there is nothing normal about the radiation levels inside the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone, despite what the IAEA wants the world to believe.” 

Essential to Greenpeace Germany’s investigation was a satellite analysis report commissioned from UK based McKenzie Intelligence Services (MIS) which showed the location of Russian military operations during February and March 2022. Expert military analysis of multispectral imagery from the Sentinel 2 constellation satellite and NASA’s Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite identified fires in the exclusion zone which McKenzie concluded was set deliberately by the Russian military.[3]

July 19, 2022 - Posted by | spinbuster, Ukraine

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