Is it safe to visit Chernobyl?

Science

Chernobyl, the deadliest nuclear accident site in the world, is currently a very popular tourist destination. However, deadly radiation penetrates the landscape around the area. Why is the visit safe?

Ukrainian officials opened a tourist area almost ten years ago and said visitors were safe, even though the tour was tightly regulated. Since then, thousands of people have flown to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

It’s true that high-dose radiation can cause tissue damage and acute illness and increase cancer risk, according to the American Cancer Society.

Everywhere, however, humans are bathed every day in radiation which is a natural part of the environment. These include terrestrial radiation emitted by the earth itself, internal radiation produced by organisms and cosmic radiation from the sun and stars, according to the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission of life (NRC).

Calculation of exposure
On average, a person in the US is estimated to be around 3 milliseconds (mSv) from radiation exposure per year, a safe level that is enough exposure is considered. Radiation from medical imaging technology ranges from less than 1 mSv to 20 mSv agreeing computed tomography (CT), reports the American College of Radiology.

radiation doses from 50 to 200 mSv can cause chromosomal aberrations, while doses of 200-1000 mSv can cause a temporary reduction in the number of white blood cells; According to the Nuclear Archives, severe radiation sickness is around 2000 mSv and death occurs within a few days after exposure to 10,000 mSv.

equivalent to 80,000-160,000 X-rays of breast Immediately after the Chernobyl dozens of nuclear accidents workers at the plant were exposed to radiation levels of 8,000-16,000 lightning protection cables. This resulted in at least 134 workers suffering from severe radiation disease and 28 deaths.

When the Chernobyl reactor exploded, it released lethal levels of radiation, but radioactive waste was not evenly distributed in the area, due to climate conditions and changes in wind. Places that are far from radioactive hot spot reactors, “and there are villages that are relatively close to the factory, which don’t have that much pollution,” said Fred Mettler, Professor Emeritus and a clinical professor in the Radiology Department at the Medical University in New Mexico.

Even in village radiation it is uneven and can vary from road to street learned as Mettler when he visited the regional Scientific Committee 1989-1990 on the Atomic Radiation Effect (UNSCEAR).

risk measurement
The ruins of the Chernobyl reactor, which are now under a metal shell, are still very radioactive, and tend to remain up to 20,000 years. However, the area in Chernobyl, was initially open to the public who received low doses of radiation, even though they were close to the damaged reactor, Mettler said, living science.

the general level of radiation around Chernobyl is also lower than the world average before the accident, which reduces the floating incidence of radiation that has helped it, Mettler said.

However, because ongoing concerns about radiation safety and tourists must be restricted to certain areas and may not go alone, Ukrainian companies write on their sites.

The average day of a visit to Chernobyl begins and ends with the passing of an official checkpoint for monitoring radiation doses or measurements of additional radiation control points in the middle of the tour, according to the State Agency for management of exclusion zones.

Visitors may not touch buildings or plants or move items from the area. They are prohibited from sitting on the floor or placing equipment on the camera.

About 60,000 tourists visited Chernobyl in 2018, said Anton Tarananko, head of the Kiev Ministry of Tourism and Advertising. “The Chernobyl zone is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ukraine,” Taranko said, according to the Ukrainian national news agency.

Representatives from Ukrainian travel agents claim that the May Chernobyl order increased by around 30% and tend to be higher in the summer because of the popularity of HBO’s “Chernobyl”, reporting on its life sciences.

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