Life stronger than radiation

In April it will be 25 years since the disaster at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. After that tragedy many myths about radioactive effects on people have emerged.  In 1986, thousands of people including the rescuers who worked on the liquidation of the consequences of the disaster and local residents were exposed to different radiation doses. The experts of the Vavilov Institute of General Genetics have examined the children who were born soon after the disaster.

The goal of the research was to find out if the children of the people who were exposed to radiation 25 years ago have any anomalies. We hear from Alexander Rubanovich, head of the department of Genetic security at the Vavilov Institute of General Genetics.

We have not fixed any increase in the number of children with Down syndrome and other anomalies. This also was the case in Japan after the nuclear bombing. So we are strongly protected against radiation. Its affects is quite small to cause any changes on genetic level.

The theme of radiation has become in especially relevant after the recent events in Japan where a strong earthquake caused a radioactive leakage at the Futushima-1 nuclear power plant. The Japanese authorities had to evacuate people living in the range of 20 km around the plant. They also banned flights overe the plant in the range of 30 kilometers. Nevertheless, there are radioactive leaks in the area of the disaster and they cab affect those people who are working there, our expert says.

So far the level of radiation is much smaller than it was in Chernobyl. They name the figure of 100 millisievert per hour as the security limit. But anyway, if you fly on helicopter over the plant at the height of 90 meters or if you are right at on the site of the plant you may get radiation sickness.

It is a well known fact that in 1945, Japan survived a nuclear bombing. After the bombing the Japanese scientists began a long term research to find out how significant the radiation affect on humans was and if it affects the further generations Rubanovich continues.

In Japan thousands of people got radiation sickness and 200,000-200,000 were exposed to very big dozes of radiation. The scientists examined them and their children as well. No affect have been registered among the younger generation. The number of leucosis cases was higher but only among those, who received radiation dose.

25 years have passed since the disaster at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant so now scientist can examine the representative of the third generation born after the catastrophe. But our expert is confident that they won’t have any anomalies.   

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