- Tram Ho
In episode 4 of the Chernobyl miniseries produced by HBO, Soviet officials sat together to assess the damage of the nuclear power plant explosion in 1986.
The roof of the power plant has become “the most dangerous place on Earth “, they argued. If a person stands there for 2 minutes, the amount of radiation will definitely cause him to halve his life.
However, the Soviet efforts to remedy the subsequent years proved to be effective. The construction of a giant concrete coffin encircled by the No. 4 reactor helped significantly reduce the level of radiation.
Although Chernobyl far remained an isolated area measuring 4,200 km2, but the schools, amusement parks and abandoned classroom was opened to visitors 18 years or older to visit.
” The amount of radiation you get on a flight can be even more [the time spent visiting this area], ” said Claire Corkhill, a nuclear waste treatment researcher at Sheffield University. Corkhill is still supporting cleanup work at Chernobyl.
A nuclear test site on the Marshall Islands
But when the whole world was attracted to Chernobyl, little was known that there was an area even more dangerous in the world than the abandoned power plant in Ukraine. It was Marshall, an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, where the US conducted 67 nuclear tests after World War II.
Recently, a study by scientists from Columbia University found that some Marshall Islands are more radioactive than Chernobyl. Soil samples in these 11 islands contain high-level “radioactive elements”, including americium, cesium and two plutonium types.
The highest radiation dose was found on Bikini Island, where the US conducted the biggest hydrogen bomb test, and then had to sink dozens of radioactive ships.
The radioactive elements found at Marshall are similar to the elements found at Chernobyl, after the explosion released about 5,300 petabecquerels of radioactive material into the surrounding environment.
Within 3 months after the Chernobyl disaster, more than 30 people died of acute radiation. Today, scientists estimate tens, even hundreds, of thousands of people have been seriously affected by the amount of radiation emitted from it.
The same story can be silently happening at Marshall that few people notice. The Columbia University analysis showed that some islands with higher levels of american-241 radioactivity than those found at Chernobyl in 2009.
The Marshall Islands are where the US has conducted 67 nuclear tests since the second world war
Their tests also showed that Bikini Island contained 1,000 times more plutonium than the amount of radiation detected at Chernobyl or Fukushima, which also occurred a disaster related to nuclear power plants in 2011 after Japan suffers from an earthquake and tsunami.
In addition, separate studies show that fruits on some Marshall Islands also have Caesium-137 content that exceeds international safety standards. Some islands also contain more cesium-137 than Chernobyl 10 years after the accident.
In the conclusion of the study, the scientists identified four northern islands of the archipelago – including Runit, Enjebi, Bikini and Naen – that are being polluted more seriously than the area near the Chernobyl power plant.
Although most of these islands are uninhabited, researchers recommend that people in Marshall’s neighborhood should not come and ” spend time ” there. In addition, they also stated the government’s responsibility to overcome the consequences and clean up this radioactive area.
The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Refer to Businessinsider, ScienceDaily
Source : Genk