Chernobyl action plan

5 June 2008

Agencies of the United Nations have released a draft action plan committing them to continue until 2016 protecting people and the environment from the fallout from the 1986 Chernobyl accident.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UN cultural and scientific organisation UNESCO, the UN scientific committee on the effects of atomic radiation (UNSCEAR), the World Bank, the Word Health Organisation, plus the Red Cross, have agreed to undertake detailed tasks. These are listed in the action plan, and have a number of goals, which include completing the radiological remediation of populated areas affected by the accident. They also want to return a “substantial part or contaminated land outside the exclusion zone to economic activities,” and ensure scientists and environmentalists forge a “broad consensus” on interpreting data associated with an accident about which disagreements continue.

As for the IAEA, its plans include helping the Ukraine government safely decommission Chernobyl units 1, 2 and 3, and the shelter; helping Ukraine safely manage radioactive waste; and supporting it and Belarus in modernising radiological equipment. It will stage a 2011 international conference on Chernobyl radiation protection and safety and a major conference in 2016.

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