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Your comments on Chernobyl

Peter van Dyk | 19:40 UK time, Wednesday, 26 April 2006

Most of today's programme was about the legacy of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. We heard from Ukrainians at home and abroad, and Oksana, a Belarusian in Spain who pointed out that Belarus was in fact the country most affected by the fallout from the explosion.

I went to an exhibit on Chernobyl at the Ukrainian Association of Great Britain with a sat phone so we could talk to our guests on a quality line. Leo told us how his brother and sister had both died of cancer, aged 38 and 25 respectively, in his village in western Ukraine, while Vasyl said his father was being treated for cancer and Lyudmila was close to tears when she said how afraid she was for the health of her daughter, who was a year old in 1986 when the family lived in Kiev.

We also spoke to Alexander and Alex in Ukraine and heard about the continuing uncertainty and fear there because it is so hard to get information about the disaster and its effects.

But on nuclear power most of the Ukrainians we spoke to were in favour, arguing that lessons had been learnt and it is a good, cheap and clean source of power. But most of them wouldn't want to live too close to a nuclear reactor.

Here's a selection of comments that came in by text and email:

"Chernobyl is a wonderful example of spin. Everyone is quoting the "chernobyl will be radioactive for 100,000" stat without examing what is responsible. Only a single isotope, Americium 241, has that long a half life and that's found in most houses in the U.K. My house has 3 smoke alarms so contains 3 lumps of it."

"FUSION is the only safe energy source."
Alexey, Moscow

"It's never been shown that radiation causes mutations in humans that can be past down the generations. Most animals, including us seem to be much more resistant to radiation than commonly believed."
Peter in Notthingham

"Woe to u who still maintain persuit of nuclear reactors! Another chernobyl is in the offing."
Matthew, Malawi

"Cheynobyl was a tragidy. But it's now history.The greater tragidy would be to allow the sufferings and or neglect that's going on NOW"


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