Chernobyl And The Aftermath Essay

937 words - 4 pages

Chernobyl and the Aftermath

September 11, 2012

Chernobyl, near the border of Belarus and the Dnieper River, was a catastrophic nuclear accident that had occurred on April 26, 1986. This was a result of “reactor 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear power plant exploded, triggering a graphite fire that lasted for 10 days” (Yablokov et al., 2010). As a result of the explosion and fire, weathering patterns throughout Europe and the Northern Hemisphere changed due to the large quantities of radioactive contamination that as released into the atmosphere. In Chernobyl on the day of the explosion, there was a sudden power outage and when the emergency shutdown was attempted, rather ...view middle of the document...

With this exposure, the radioactive iodine-131 was swiftly absorbed in the thyroid and resulted in a immense onset of thyroid cancers in children and adults as quickly as four years! These thyroid tumors and cancers could be avoided if the government had handed out “nonradioactive iodine pills within the first week of the disaster” (Petryna, 2002). In March 1996, Adriana Petryna visited the neonatal unit at the city’s hospital in Kyiv, after speaking with Dr. Zoya, she informed him of the affects they have found in newborns. “One born premature, another survived the death of his twin; another born with a dysfunctional esophagus; another with signs of prenatal asphyxiation. One born to a mother who at age nine was evacuated from the Chernobyl zones; her infant has half a lung. Another was born to a Chernobyl worker: there are six fingers on his left hand. He’s missing a trachea. His gut lay on the outside of his body. His left outer ear is gnarled and deformed” (Petryna, 2010). Dr. Zoya believes that something happened internal to the gestational process as the effect of Chernobyl.
In the USA Today article that was published a year ago, Gregory Hartl from the World Health Organization was quoted stating that “6,000 cases of thyroid cancer have been detected in the region affected by Chernobyl’s disaster. When Konstantin Vengerowsky interviewed Natalia Manzurova, who was a nuclear engineer called to Chernobyl nine days after the explosion, she would spend 20 days working in the zone and would go home for 10 days. She dealt with some side effects that were often reported of nose bleeds and headaches. She learned later that she had thyroid cancer and claims that it had to have been from the four and a half years that she spent studying the effect of radiation in Chernobyl, and helping...

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