Building Camelot One Essay At A Time
Chernobyl's Cancerous ShadowMore than 20 years later, the catastrophe of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor explosion isn’t over for Oleg, 54, and Dima, 13. The two are recovering from thyroid surgery at a medical facility in Belarus. Since the world's largest nuclear disaster in 1986, cases of thyroid cancer have exploded as well, afflicting thousands who could not afford to relocate. The United Nations estimates that seven million people still live on radioactive land contaminated by the explosion.An estimated 800,000 liquidators participated in containing the reactor and the gargantuan clean-up efforts following the nuclear catastrophe. Most of them received high doses of radiation, resulting in cancers and other exposure-induced diseases, often only flaring up decades after the event. 70 percent of the fallout drifted into southern Belarus, contaminating nearly a quarter of the country. As a direct response to the accident, a children’s cancer facility was established in Minsk with Austrian aid. Even though the Belarusian government is downplaying the role of Chernobyl, those scientists and medical personnel who are able to speak out openly see a clear connection between the increasing health problems and the radioactivity released by the disaster.To help the innocent and most needy, international charities fund several institutions for mentally and physically disabled children. Women exposed to the fallout as children have now reached childbearing age and fear giving birth to babies with congenital defects, worrying how radiation may have affected their genes. While some in the scientific community question that birth defects and retardation are directly attributable to the disaster, noted scientist Alexei Okeanov has described the health effects of the accident as ‘a fire that can’t be put out in our lifetimes’.
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