On 28 April, Russia sent the IAEA a refutation of disinformation about the irradiation of soldiers at the Chernobyl NPP. The Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to International Organisations in Vienna sent a note to the IAEA Secretariat “in connection with the dissemination by a number of media of unreliable information about the actions of the Russian Armed Forces at the Chernobyl NPP”.

The note refers to a video accompanying a 9 April CNN publication, which shows the dosimeter readings of 0.58 μSv/h in the room where the Russian military personnel were allegedly located, saying the report is misleading. “For comparison, the natural background at various points on the Earth ranges from 0.1 to 1 µSv/h (in Moscow – 0.1-0.3 µSv/h, in Helsinki – 0.2-0.6 µSv/h). In the case of round-the-clock exposure for 30 days with an intensity of 0.58 µSv/h, the accumulated effective dose will be about 0.4 mSv. This is less than half of the allowable annual dose for the population (1 mSv) and at the same time 50 times less than the allowable annual dose for a worker in the nuclear industry (20 mSv), and is also comparable to the dose received from a single chest x-ray (0.3 mSv).”

The note points out that in the video, the CNN correspondent and his entourage “are indoors in everyday shoes, without respiratory and hand protection, which indicates their awareness of the absence of real danger”. It adds that assertions about the imminent development of acute radiation sickness in Russian military personnel after visiting the Red Forest “are false, replicated by Ukrainian and Western media, as well as SE NNEGC Energoatom”. The doses indicated “could not significantly harm human health”.

CNN shows dosimeter readings at the border of the Red Forest of 11.32 μSv/h. “In this case, the accumulated effective dose in the case of round-the-clock exposure for 30 days would be about 8 mSv. This is 125 times less than the dose that causes the development of acute radiation sickness (1000 mSv).”

The note adds that statements about damage allegedly caused to facilities at the Chernobyl site by Russian military personnel, who left on 31 March “are also not true”. “The photographs taken during the stay of the Russian troops at the Chernobyl NPP confirm the working condition of the premises, as well as the analytical laboratory ‘Ecocenter’, the normal indicators of the radiation background at the facility, as well as the safety of the relevant documentation were in good condition.”