Web site concept
The publishing of independent scientifically validated information about the consequences of Chernobyl disaster
Chernobyl accident has called essential changes not only in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, but also in the whole world. It is a ring bell for reviewing of the balance in nuclear risk perception by society. The international regulation on radiation protection, national strategies concerning development of nuclear power, strengthening of nuclear safety, radioactive waste management have been revised. 20 years after is a right time to consider efficiency of these measures in the world, to make it in anniversary of Chernobyl accident and to initiate an opportunity to international community to discuss these difficult issue.
This accident has been used, and is still used, as one of the key element of public mistrust "vis a vis" both the political and the scientific communities.
The scale of the material losses and the financial cost of mitigating the consequences of the Chernobyl accident provide compelling evidence of the extremely high price of errors and shortcomings when ensuring the safety of nuclear power plants and of the need for strict compliance with international safety requirements during their design, construction and operation.
The accident has convincingly demonstrated that the cost of ensuring the safety of nuclear facilities is significantly lower than that of dealing with accident consequences. Large-scale man-made accidents cause great social and economic damage to countries located in their area of influence.
In the spirit of UN Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention) it has been decided to develop and deploy a international scientific network for dissemination and publishing in web site scientifically validated information about the consequences of Chernobyl disaster. The Aarhus Convention was negotiated by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe as part of its pan-European environmental legal framework. It is generally intended to lift the veil of environmental secrecy and strengthen citizens' environmental rights. The Aarhus Convention aims to ensure that the public has access to this type of information and to prevent Governments from covering up environmental disasters.
Web site is address to various categories of targets (public of different levels of education, decision-makers, scientists, associations, governmental authorities and concerned international organizations, etc.).
The Chernobyl web site aims primarily at:
· Providing to the public, political decision makers and the scientific community through a Web site, an open access to internationally scientifically validated information regarding scientific data relating to consequences of Chernobyl accident;
· Developing and deploying an international network for permanent collection, validation and presentation of information regarding consequences of Chernobyl accident;
· Strengthening the international collaboration on research and verification of nuclear risk.
An International Scientific Council (ISC) chaired by EUR-OPA of Council of Europe have been created for the validation of the data to be published on web site. This Scientific Council involved Experts from the European Union Member States, Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.
The main objective of the web site is to provide to general public, scientists, and decision-makers independent scientifically validated information about the consequences of Chernobyl catastrophe. To satisfy this objective, a dynamic Web site have been designed and built. A network of independent organisations has been set up in order to collect and validate information.
This action developing along three axes:
· collection of information
· validation of information by an international scientific council (ISC)
· publishing of the relevant information in formats adapted and understandable by a large public.
Unique experience of Chernobyl accident consequences monitoring is basis for developing high-of-art procedures of radiological accident monitoring for strengthening safety in the world.
After the 1986 Chernobyl accident an "Exclusion Zone" around the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant was established. Such "Exclusion Zone" is the most contaminated area. Its population was evacuated and resettled in 1986. All economic activity not related to the Chernobyl NPP (ChNPP) was stopped and the area was excluded from any agricultural activity. The Exclusion Zone in Belarus and Ukraine covers a surface of 4300 km2.
The Exclusion Zone can be compared to a nuclear site, largely contaminated, and includes numerous nuclear installations: Sarcophagus, radioactive waste storage, and nuclear reactors units 1, 2 and 3 which were shutdown. In addition to these facilities, a spent nuclear fuel interim storage plant is building so as a radioactive (low and medium activities) liquid effluent reprocessing plant and a radioactive (low and medium activities) solid waste packaging plant will be build.
The Exclusion Zone is the most highly contaminated area and the largest source of radiation hazard to the surrounding populated areas. Thanks, moreover, to its natural and man-made barriers it has - and in future will continue to have - the important protective function of preventing the migration of radionuclides beyond its boundaries. Continuing activities to study, support and strengthen the barrier function of the Exclusion Zone remains the most important focus of international efforts to minimise the accident's consequences.
The Chernobyl web site offering the opportunity to a large scientific community located in several countries, including the former Soviet Union, to establish a network for exchange of data, knowledge and best practices regarding all the critical issues of "nuclear power accident" consequences management. Creating, for a European large public, an understandable access to very sensitive and critical information on a crucial element of the entire society, the nuclear power segment, is becoming of the utmost importance.
The Web site is an important tool for public, media and authorities information about nuclear and radiological hazard.