Medical Oncology and Tumor Pharmacotherapy

, Volume 4, Issue 3–4, pp 133–137 | Cite as

Radiation doses in Europe after the Chernobyl accident

  • Gunnar Bengtsson
Radiation Risks


In the course of the reactor accident at Chernobyl in 1986, large amounts of radioactive materials were released and spread over all of Europe and the rest of the world. A comprehensive analysis of the resulting radiation doses is still in progress through the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiations. This review lists the most significant nuclides involved and the most significant pathways of exposure. Preliminary estimates of radiation doses made by various organisations are presented. Particular emphasis is given to the collective effective dose equivalent which is important for the assessment of the possible future incidence of leukemia and cancer from the accident. This quantity amounted to about 200,000 mansievert for Europe outside of the Soviet Union, and about twice as much for the European part of the Soviet Union for the first 50 years after the accident. The uncertainty in these estimates should be less than a factor of three up or down. According to the hypothesis of a linear dose-effect relationship this dose could be calculated to result in 6000 extra cases of cancer and hereditary disease, 4000 of which would be fatal, during 100 years in Europe outside the Soviet Union.

Key words

Radiation Dose Europe Chernobyl Collective dose 


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Copyright information

© Pergamon Press Ltd. 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gunnar Bengtsson
    • 1
  1. 1.Swedish National Institute of Radiation ProtectionStockholmSweden

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