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Chernobyl's 20th anniversary - 200,000 lives lost? PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 23 April 2006 06:47

Its ironic that 20 years after Chernobyl should have taught us the danger of nuclear power, the industry is trying to convince the world to give it another chance. Claims have been made on Australian radio recently giving absurdly low numbers for the toll of the accident. The British Guardian newspaper has a more realistic estimate, and the whole story is worth reading.

A report by the International Atomic Energy Agency and seven other United Nations bodies estimated 4,000 people would die as a result of Chernobyl. The report was greeted by relief and disbelief. Many studies from the World Health Organisation, independent scientists and campaign groups had predicted a far more catastrophic impact. In response, a group of disbelievers, led by the European Green party, commissioned their own study, The Other Chernobyl Report, or Torch, which estimated a toll of between 30,000 and 60,000 premature deaths. Last week the international Greenpeace campaign group released another study by 50 scientists claiming 200,000 lives would be lost, nearly half from cancers.