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The Chernobyl Project

Background - In October 1989 the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) received a request from the Government of the USSR to organize and co-ordinate an assessment of the guidance given by the Soviet authorities to persons living in radiologically contaminated areas, and to evaluate measures to taken to safeguard the health of the population. The response to this request called upon the services and assistance of around 200 scientists from 25 countries (including the USSR) and from the Commission of the European Communities (CEC), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the IAEA itself.

The project on the "Radiological Consequences in the USSR of the Chernobyl Accident: Assessment of Health and Environmental Effects and Evaluation of Protective Measures", was termed the "International Chernobyl Project", (hereinafter referred to as the Project).

Several publications, maps and lately, web sites, related to the Project have been published and made available to the public. The most recent and comprehensive source of internationally accepted information on the radiological consequences of the Chernobyl Accident is the UNSCEAR 2000 Report (Annex J) to the General Assembly on Sources and Effects of Ionizing Radiation.

Publications related to the Project are grouped below and may be downloaded in full-text.

The International Chernobyl Project

An International Conference was held at the Agency headquarters in May, 1991. The full documentation from this conference includes:

  • A Technical Report, "Assessment of Radiological Consequences and Evaluation of Protective Measures, available in English (5mb), as well as in Russian (4mb)
  • The Proceedings of this International Conference
  • The surface contamination maps of which there are two: Distribution of Surface Ground Contamination by Caesium-137 (85mb) and Distribution of Surface Ground Contamination by Strontium-90 (24 MB). (Please note the size of these maps - they may be very slow to download. The maps are also obtainable by ordering them online)
  • The International Chernobyl Project: An Overview. English; Russian

International Conference:

One Decade after Chernobyl - Summing up the Consequences of the Accident

This Conference, cosponsored by the IAEA, WHO and the European Commission was held at the Agency headquarters in Vienna from 8-12 April 1996. The conference Proceedings are presented here along with abstracts from some of the background papers, in downloadable format:

  • One Decade after Chernobyl - Summing up the Consequences of the Accident: Proceedings of an International Conference(2MB)
  • One Decade after Chernobyl - Summing up the Consequences of the Accident Poster Presentations (IAEA-TECDOC-964) Volume 1; Volume 2 - (2 and 4 MB respectively)
  • One Decade after Chernobyl - Summing up the Consequences of the Accident: Summary brochures in English

A further project was initiated by the IAEA in 1995 after a proposal by Belarus to convene an international group of high level experts to review the information drawn from the long term environmental and social studies of the Chernobyl accident and its consequences. The study had been monitored by an International Advisory Committee under the project management of the Institut de protection et de sûreté nucléaire (IPSN), France. The project report based mainly on the studies, carried out by experts from Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine during the period 1986-1995, was published as IAEA TECDOC-1240 ( 3MB )

Related Conferences

In 2001, on the occasion of the fifteenth anniversary of the Chernobyl accident, two international scientific conferences were held in Kiev, Ukraine. The first of them, called "Fifteen Years after the Chernobyl Accident. Lessons Learned" held April 18-20, 2001, discussed lessons learned from the accident in areas of nuclear and radiation safety, emergency preparedness and response, status and future of the Shelter and the exclusion zone, radiation health and environmental effects.

The second conference entitled "Health Effects of the Chernobyl Accident: Results of the 15-year follow-up Studies", was held 4-8 June 2001, only considered the health effects of the accident, presented medical lessons learnt and developed recommendations for public health services and for future research.

During 2001-2002, the UN family organizations UNDP, WHO, OCHA, and UNICEF prepared and published, with the IAEA's support, the UN report on "The Human Consequences of the Chernobyl Accident - a Strategy of Recovery". The report suggests that there is a need for a new phase of social and economic activities addressing the human needs of the affected individuals, with a view to helping to progressively restore life to normal for the majority of the inhabitants over a ten-year period.

Further publications

  • "Ten Years after Chernobyl: what do we really know?" Based on the proceedings of the IAEA/WHO/EC International Conference, Vienna, April 1996. Summary brochure in Russian
  • Articles in the IAEA Bulletin summarizing the consequences. The articles address for a broad audience the impact the accident has had on health, environment, nuclear safety, society, the economy and the prognosis for the future, based on the formal conclusions of the International Conference

| Last update: Tuesday, 09 December, 2014.