30 Years after Chernobyl: IAEA Continues to Support Global Efforts to Help Affected Regions

Thirty years ago today, an unprecedented aerial release of radionuclides spread over parts of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine following the nuclear power plant accident at Chernobyl. It was the most serious nuclear accident ever, exposing several hundreds of thousands of people to high levels of radiation and forcing some 350,000 to leave their homes in contaminated areas.

On the 30th anniversary, we remember with respect and admiration those who lost their lives in the emergency and recovery operations,” said IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano in a statement marking the anniversary.

The accident also had a profound impact on the nuclear industry, leading to increased cooperation on safety and the adoption of new legal instruments (see box). Most crucially, it focused global attention on safety and the importance of human and organizational factors in achieving it. As a result, the term “safety culture” was coined.

Safety culture recognises the importance of the links between humans, technology and organizations in the systematic development and implementation of safety standards and procedures at nuclear facilities.

Falling radiation levels

Since 1986, radiation levels have decreased considerably, and remediation activities are well under way. Life has returned to normal in much of the affected area, and people are carrying on with their daily activities. At the same time, in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, an area with a radius of 30 kilometres around the plant, public access and inhabitation are restricted.

The IAEA has provided support to Ukraine, Belarus and Russia in environmental remediation, decommissioning and management of radioactive waste and strengthening the safety levels at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant — in several instances in cooperation with other United Nations organizations.

Global Action for the Region

Under the 2003-2005 Chernobyl Forum, an IAEA initiative that involved other United Nations organizations, the World Bank and the governments of the three affected countries, a comprehensive report was issued after conducting a detailed evaluation and assessment of the accident site and its consequences. “The idea was to come up with a consolidated view on the health, environmental, and socio-economic impact,” said said Gerhard Proehl, Head of the Assessment and Management of Environmental Release Unit at the IAEA.

The Forum provided recommendations to the Governments of Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine on environmental remediation, special health care programmes and for economic and social policy.

The United Nations dedicated 2006-2016 the ‘Decade of Recovery and Sustainable Development of the Affected Regions’. This resulted in global coordination efforts to address the specific needs in the affected region and to mitigate the impact of the accident. IAEA activities under this plan included support for the remediation and rehabilitation of contaminated areas.

The International Chernobyl Radiation Information Network aims to increase public awareness. The IAEA, the World Health Organization, the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund and the United Nations Development Programme have worked to provide necessary information to people in plain language on what is being done to protect them; what is being monitored, how safe the food products are, and whether the drinking water and the soil are safe. “The purpose was to bring more direct information to the people, through regional health and educational authorities, local communities, NGOs and newspapers to remove the fear factor and build confidence,” Proehl said.

Legal measures to enhance nuclear safety globally
In the months following the Chernobyl accident, two global agreements related to nuclear safety were adopted and came into force: the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident and the Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency, which include sharing official information among Member States and providing assistance to affected countries. Both conventions have significantly strengthened the global nuclear safety regime.

Ten years later, in 1996, the Convention on Nuclear Safety came into force, further strengthening nuclear safety. Its signatories operating nuclear power plants have committed to maintaining a high level of safety through use of international benchmarks based largely on IAEA Safety Standards.

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PLN Percaya Tenaga Nuklir Cocok di Indonesia


REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- Indonesia melalui Badan Usaha Milik Negara PT PLN (Persero) mempelajari pengoptimalan pembangkit listrik tenaga nuklir dari BUMN nuklir asal Rusia, Rosatom Overseas JSC, untuk dipertimbangkan penerapannya di Tanah Air.

"Kami percaya bahwa tenaga nuklir benar-benar cocok dengan agenda ekonomi Indonesia saat ini. Kami siap untuk mendukung semua upaya Indonesia dalam bidang energi atom," ujar Presiden Rusatom Overseas JSC Evgeny Pakermanov dalam siaran pers, Sabtu (24/4).

Kegiatan yang diadakan dengan workshop tersebut membahas mengenai perkembangan industri tenaga nuklir. Perwakilan dari Rosatom berbagi pengalaman terkait desain rancang bangun PLTN, pengoperasiannya, serta daur ulang sumber nuklir.

Selain itu juga dijelaskan mengenai pengelolaan keselamataan PLTN dengan mengedepankan kerangka peraturan pengoperasian reaktor nuklir Rusia di seluruh dunia.

Direktur Bisnis PLN untuk wilayah Timur Jawa dan Bali Amin Subekti mengatakan tenaga nuklir merupakan solusi yang ekonomis dan ramah lingkungan untuk Indonesia. Menurut dia hal tersebut patut dipertimbangkan apabila Indonesia memutuskan untuk menggunakan nuklir dengan komitmen nasional, keputusan para petinggi, serta mitra yang kuat.

"Atas komitmennya pada keamanan dan kepemimpinan teknologi, Rosatom akan menjadi salah satu mitra yang tepat untuk bekerja sama," kata Amin.

Sumber : antara

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Here’s What The Control Room Of A Nuclear Reactor Looks Like [PHOTOS]

The Daily Caller News Foundation visited the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in Lusby, Maryland on April 20th. The following is part of a series of articles about the tour.

The Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant sits on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, about 50 miles outside Washington, D.C. The plant’s two reactors generate 1,750 Megawatts of electricity, enough energy to power about 2 million homes and businesses, or 30 percent of Maryland, since 1977.

The Calvert Cliffs reactors are incredibly complicated machines, staffed by almost 900 employees. Due to this complexity, Exelon Generation, which owns and operates the reactors, built an on-site simulator that’s completely identical to a real reactor control room. The simulator is used to train reactor operators.

Exelon allowed The Daily Caller News Foundation to visit and photograph the simulator, giving an inside view of the control room.

The red line in the above photograph is the point no one is allowed to pass without the express permission of the person managing the reactor.

The reactors are managed by a computer system set up so that it cannot receive information from the Internet, making it essentially impossible to hack. The circular panel in the above picture is a display of the current locations of the reactor’s nuclear fuel rods — which power the plant. The fuels rods are the material which the reactor “burns” by nuclear fission to create energy.

The reactor can be operated in fully analog mode with no digital inputs. The computers are only there to monitor the reactor and increase its efficiency.

Above is a view of the containment buildings — which shelter the reactors and prevent radiation from leaking out — and the electrical transmission infrastructure — which transports the energy to market.

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Scientists Learn to Detect Zika Virus Using Nuclear-Derived Technique

More than thirty doctors, epidemiologists, microbiologists and laboratory technicians from Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa learned how to use a nuclear-derived technique to detect the Zika virus during IAEA training courses this month. The Zika virus has spread to 34 countries and territories in the Americas and was declared an international public health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO) in February.

The quick turnaround and interpretation of results using this technology will be a huge help for our public health system,” said Nicole Christian, a microbiologist with the Department of Microbiology, University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica. The early and fast detection of Zika, which is transmitted primarily by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, is key to managing outbreaks.

The participants learned how to do just that using the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) molecular detection technique at the IAEA laboratories in Seibersdorf, Austria.

The accurate detection of Zika is crucial mainly because the virus has been associated with several neurological complications in adults as well as birth defects, said Octavio Fernandez, a Brazilian doctor working at DASA, a Brazil-based medical diagnostics company. “The principal birth defect is microcephaly, a condition in which the baby has a head that is smaller than the normal size and can lead to problems in the development of the child.” Accurate detection is vital because dengue and Zika symptoms are very similar, Fernandez said. “This sophisticated technique can help to get precise results.”

The course is part of the IAEA’s efforts to assist Member States in dealing with the Zika outbreak. Responding to requests for assistance, the IAEA has already provided RT-PCR equipment to Latin American and the Caribbean countries, and has offered assistance to affected countries in the use of nuclear techniques to control mosquito populations.

The trainees participated in a hands-on training involving practical exercises on the use of RT-PCR and received information about applying procedures recommended by the WHO, the Pan American Health Organization and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to detect Zika.

Going home more prepared

IAEA experts stressed the importance of sample sensitivity and specificity to accurately identify the virus. In the detection process, the application of reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay play an important role.

The training has been an eye-opener for me; we can get real-time feedback when using the RT-PCR,” said Baltina Watt from the Dominica’s Ministry of Health. “When I go home, I will make recommendations that we need to train our scientists in this technology — we have to be prepared to act quickly and take essential actions to deal with Zika.”

Such training can only be effective if we integrate what we have learned back home into our health care systems, as Zika is spreading rapidly,” said Cristian Perez Corrales, a microbiologist from the Department of Microbiology at the National Hospital for Children in San Jose, Costa Rica. “We have learned a lot about the latest available technologies, refreshed our technical and medical knowledge and also improved our detection skills in using RT-PCR.

Pedro Ariel Martinez, a Cuban doctor with the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Havana said: “in my country, we have a very well-established public health system, and though we do use RT-PCR for detection, at this training, I have gained additional technical experience about its use to identify Zika when faced with an epidemiological situation.

Participants were also informed about support provided to Member States to control the mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus through integrating the nuclear sterile insect technique (SIT) into comprehensive mosquito control plans. SIT is a form of pest control that uses ionizing radiation to sterilize male mosquitoes in special rearing facilities, which are then released over target areas, effectively suppressing the insect population over time to protect humans from disease transmission. The IAEA, in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), is spearheading global research in the development and application of SIT.

In March, the IAEA launched a four-year project worth 2.3 million euro to help countries in the Americas apply SIT as part of integrated vector control management.

The training course to strengthen regional capacities for the early and rapid detection of the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean took place from 4 to 15 April 2016.

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Dialog Ilmiah: The Green Nuclear Technology

Nuclear Medicine in Canada

NSS Ingatkan Ancaman Bahan Nuklir untuk Terorisme

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, WASHINGTON D.C -- Konfrensi Tingkat Tingkat Keamanan Nuklir (NSS) 2016 di Washington D.C, Amerika Serikat resmi berakhir pada Jumat (1/4) sore. NSS kembali memperkuat komitmen setiap negara mengenai kerjasama keamanan dan keselamatan bahan nuklir. 
"Hampir semua pembicaraan setuju menjaga material nuklir supaya tidak jatuh ke tangan teroris," kata Wakil Presiden Jusuf Kalla kepada wartawan usai mengikuti NSS di Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Jumat (1/4) sore.

KTT Keamanan Nuklir

Pencegahan bahan nuklir jatuh ke tangan teroris menjadi isu penting dalam NSS. Kalla mengatakan terorisme nuklir menjadi ancaman serius seluruh negara. Dia mencontohkan teroris yang menggunakan bom paku saja sudah mampu menciptakan kekhawatiran dan ketakutan dunia. "Apalagi kalau yang digunakan teroris itu bahan nuklir berbahaya. Di situ intinya," ujar Kalla.

Kalla mengatakan, sebanyak 52 negara peserta NSS setuju saling bekerjasama membuat arsitektur dan protokol pengawasan nuklir bersama. Salah satunya dengan membentuk sistem informasi terpadu antarnegara mengenai produksi, pemanfaatan, dan pengiriman bahan nuklir.

Dia menjelaskan, kerja sama ini diharapkan meminimalisir penyalahgunaan bahan-bahan nuklir oleh para teroris. "Seperti mau diangkut kemana (bahan nuklirnya), jangan bilang mau diangkut kemana tapi dibawanya kemana," kata Kalla.

Kalla menambahkan seluruh negara produsen maupun pemanfaat bahan nuklir harus bertanggung jawab menjamin keselamatan dan keamanan dunia. "Rangkaian pengawasannya harus bagus dan harus satu protokol dan sistem," kata Kalla.

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