From Chernobyl to Fukushima. The Environment is Acting as a Friend or an Enemy?

  • Dimosthenis N. Asimakopoulos
Conference paper
Part of the NATO Science for Peace and Security Series B: Physics and Biophysics book series (NAPSB)


The Chernobyl nuclear accident is already well documented in respect to the technical details responsible for the event, as well as the emissions to the atmosphere. However what is of importance is to further discuss the lower and the upper atmosphere transport mechanisms that prevailed on both over the local and the long distance atmospheric environment. In this respect in the first part of the presentation a brief description of the accident is given alongside with some local meteorological details. Then an examination of the long distance atmospheric transport and the impacts on the environment is attempted. Although the Chernobyl accident is considered as the worst incident in the nuclear energy history, it was mainly restricted to the atmospheric environment only.

Many years later the Fukushima incident, lead the nuclear list of world scale accidents maintaining both different causation and physical impacts. Although the long list of impacts on life does not easily ends, the Fukushima case maintains a unique place among the many other events. This is because the accident happened as a result of mainly natural reasons, not human or technical inefficiency during the operation but because of certain design inefficiencies. Also the impacted areas are both the ground and the see water. At this very moment the first phase impacts to the environment are not yet completed since the ocean currents and the water dilution did not bring concentrations above the maximum allowed level. This dual target impacts are discussed and model estimations are also presented.

Finally suggestions for future work are also made so that other unfortunate events not yet realized, will find us better prepared.


Atmospheric emissions Transport mechanisms Nuclear accidents ABL 



The pictures used in the present paper are taken from the public domain web material.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric PhysicsNational and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece

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