Lessons Learned from the Chernobyl Accident

  • Valery Kashparov
Part of the Current Topics in Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine book series (CTEHPM)


This chapter describes the lessons learned from the Chernobyl accident on the basis of practical experience. Main characteristics of radionuclides release and consequences of radiological contamination of the environment, and also remediation actions, taken to protect workers and population against radiation at different stages of rectification of the consequences of the accident in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine in 1986–2018 are analyzed. Criteria for applying countermeasures, such as maximum expected effective irradiation dose for the population and terrestrial density of radionuclides contamination for evacuation and resettlement, restriction of business activities, etc., and also action level of radionuclides in food to reduce the internal dose, are provided. Main positive and negative features of the decisions taken in the process of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster elimination are considered. Practically all agricultural countermeasures implemented in the large scale on contaminated lands after Chernobyl accident can be recommended for use in case of future accidents. We focus mainly on the Chernobyl exclusion zone as the territory of radiation-ecological reserves of Ukraine and Belarus for scientific research in the field of radioecology and radiobiology, as well as on the most contaminated 10-km zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant—a Zone for special industrial usage, not suitable for living in the near future.

By an example of the Chernobyl disaster, it is shown that in comparison with radiological consequences the socio-psychological ones have made much more influence on human life and health due to lack of urgent, objective, and truthful information on the accident and its impact on the health, in mass media.


Radionuclides Radioecology Radiobiology Remedial action Milk contamination The Chernobyl accident Effective dose The Chernobyl exclusion zone 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valery Kashparov
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Ukrainian Institute of Agricultural RadiologyNational University of Life and Environmental Sciences of UkraineKyivUkraine
  2. 2.CERAD CoE Environmental Radioactivity/Department of Environmental SciencesNorwegian University of Life SciencesAasNorway

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