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Alexakhin, R M.*; Sanzharova, N I.*; Fesenko, S V.; Spiridonov, S I.*; Panov, A V.*

doi: 10.1097/01.HP.0000285093.63814.b7

The distribution and migration of radionuclides released into the environment following the Chernobyl accident in 1986 are described. The Chernobyl disaster resulted in the consumption of farm products containing radionuclides as a source of irradiation of the population due to the prevalence of a rural type of human nutrition in the affected region. Economic and radiologic importance of countermeasures for reducing the impacts of the accident are described. The basic radioecological problem is described in which the area where direct radiation contamination of biota was observed is considerably smaller than the zone where concentrations of radionuclides through the food chain exceeded the permissible standards. The radiation-induced effects in biota in the affected area are described. In the long-term post-accident period, the radionuclide distribution between components of ecosystems (including humans) and doses are considered in comparison to a technologically normal situation of nuclear power plant operation. This analysis demonstrates that if radiation standards protect humans, then biota are also adequately protected against ionizing radiation.

* Russian Institute of Agricultural Radiology and Agroecology, Obninsk, Kaluga Region, 249032, Russia; International Atomic Energy Agency, Wagramer Strasse 5, PO Box 100, A-1400, Vienna, Austria.

For correspondence contact: R. M. Alexakhin, Russian Institute of Agricultural Radiology and Agroecology, Kievskoe St., Obninsk, Kaluga Region, 249032, Russia, or email at alexakhin@riar.obninsk.or.

(Manuscript accepted 1 August 2007)

©2007Health Physics Society