Lessons from the Chernobyl Disaster - Safety for the Future

The Chernobyl conference will discuss lessons learned and future projects at Chernobyl, including construction of the new sarcophagus. (Photo: D. Sacchetti)

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, the IAEA, which has monitored radioactivity in the region and worked to reduce exposure to it since the accident, will participate in an international conference designed to ensure that the lessons learned from the accident will bring about lasting improvements in nuclear and radiation safety globally.

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano will address the international conference,Chernobyl, 25 Years On: Safety for the Future, to be held in Kiev from 20-22 April 2011. The conference, hosted by the Ukrainian government, will focus on sustainable improvements in nuclear and radiation safety, remediation work undertaken in and around the Chernobyl site as well as commemorate the loss of life and suffering.

Experts, including the IAEA, will discuss the technical experience gained in the past quarter-century and strategies and safety procedures to ensure safe nuclear energy operations for the future.

For the past 25 years, the IAEA has monitored the radioactive fall-out from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster that spread vast quantities of radionuclides across the planet in April 1986. At the sites most affected by the radioactive fallout in Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine, the IAEA provides technical expertise to reduce the populations´ exposure to radioactivity from the disaster, advise the international organizations and national governments securing the destroyed reactor site, and return the land to productive use.

Other senior officials will also address the conference, including:

  • Mr. Viktor Yanukovich, President of Ukraine
  • Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe
  • Mr. José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission
  • Mr. Tadateru Konoe, President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Society

Prior to the conference, the International Chernobyl Research and Information Network (ICRIN) will host a briefing on recent progress on 19 April in Kiev. Sponsored by the IAEA and three UN agencies, ICRIN is a multi-year communications project to distribute information in plain language that can help fight the fear and anxiety that area residents have regarding radiation and dispel widespread misconceptions that still persist. ICRIN works to create information centres in rural areas, disseminates information through schools, health care systems and media, and implements small-scale community infrastructure projects aimed at improving living conditions and promoting self-reliance. The ICRIN partners are the IAEA, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Children´s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

UN Body Releases New Report on Chernobyl Health Effects

On 28 February 2011, a UN panel released new research that examines the health consequences of the Chernobyl disaster. Conducted by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), the report supports much of the previous data on health compiled by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other UN agencies on Chernobyl.

A copy of Health Effects Due to Radiation from the Chernobyl Accident can be accessed at the UNSCEAR website.

Last update: 10 September 2014