Chernobyl death toll grossly underestimated

Feature Story - 2006-04-24
A new Greenpeace report has revealed that the full consequences of the Chernobyl disaster could top a quarter of a million cancers cases and nearly 100,000 fatal cancers.

In the cancer ward of a Kiev hospital in the Ukraine, 19-year-old Elena is being treated for her second case of thyroid cancer in just 3 years

Our report involved 52 respected scientists and includes information never before published in English. It challenges the UN International Atomic Energy Agency Chernobyl Forum report, which predicted 4,000 additional deaths attributable to the accident as a gross simplification of the real breadth of human suffering.

The new data, based on Belarus national cancer statistics, predicts approximately 270,000 cancers and 93,000 fatal cancer cases caused by Chernobyl. The report also concludes that on the basis of demographic data, during the last 15 years, 60,000 people have additionally died in Russia because of the Chernobyl accident, and estimates of the total death toll for the Ukraine and Belarus could reach another 140,000.

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The report also looks into the ongoing health impacts of Chernobyl and concludes that radiation from the disaster has had a devastating effect on survivors; damaging immune and endocrine systems, leading to accelerated ageing, cardiovascular and blood illnesses, psychological illnesses, chromosomal aberrations and an increase in foetal deformations.

The real face of the nuclear industry

Each one of these statistics has a face.  Many people are paying a price for the negligence of a dirty and dangerous industry:

This is just a selection of pictures from a new photography exhibit opening in 30 cities worldwide. The exhibition features poignant portraits of individuals and families, and the stories of their suffering due to Chernobyl and other nuclear disasters.

These powerful images are a timely reminder that human lives are more than just  numbers. For each statistic there is a person paying the ultimate price. Anyone who doubts the dangers of nuclear power should visit the exhibition and see for themselves one of the reasons why we oppose nuclear power. Twenty years on, every nuclear power plant bears the legacy of  the nuclear industry's victims; and every nuclear power plant represents the threat of becoming the next Chernobyl.

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