The Institute of radiation safety
The bitter truth
about atomic energy.
(Whether you want to know the truth?)
under scientific edition of
of NAS of Belarus
This book, which concerns the future of our country and of the whole Planet Earth, is written for a broad audience of readers. Last decades experiences in dialogue, on both nuclear weapon, and «peaceful atom”, allow to estimate more objectively the prospective of the use of atomic energy.
The literature available today on this subject is extremely limited and carries, basically, a pro-nuclear orientation. Due to their limited circulation, books writing truthfully about nuclear problems (for example, A.V.Yablokov “Nuclear Mythology”, 1997) are inaccessible to a broad audience of readers. The present book hopes to reach a wider circle of readers. The great volume of data contained in it, enables to use it as a manual for students of universities, technical colleges, professional technical schools and senior classes of schools.
because around us,
lies are preached constantly too,
and not only by individuals,
but also by people of low condition”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
„Even if lies do not bring
harm to anybody,
they cannot be accounted as innocent“
To the reader
The atomic energy has arisen and has developed until now in close relation with nuclear weapon. The nuclear industry is extremely rich, and with the broad support of the state, they try to convince us that nuclear power plants are good and useful, in numerous books, articles, in TV and radio broadcasts.
Thus they avoid mentioning the dangers which peaceful atom brings with to every household, avoid speaking about the mistakes and miscalculations, and the dangerous influence of the nuclear industry on wildlife and human beings.
The book, which the reader holds in hands, represents a rare opportunity to be acquainted with a point of view, which – in my opinion – is much closer to truth, than the point of view of the nuclear industry.
While sharing completely the general basic approach of the authors, I look naturally a little differently at some details of the huge problem of radioecology.
Belarus has no atomic energy power plant of its own. The authors of this book do not want – and I agree with them, - that new nuclear problems be added to the Chernobyl experience in Belarus.
Corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences,
Honorary foreign Member American Academy of Sciences and Arts,
From the scientific editor
The book “the bitter truth about atomic energy” of professor G.F.Lepin and Academician of the International Academy of Ecology, I.N.Smoljar, presents for the first time an objective analysis of the available documents on the characteristics of NPP, on their operational safety and on their negative ecological impact to the discussion of a possible construction in Belarus.
The detailed economic analysis of the production of heat or electric power in nuclear power plant has shown that their use is economically unprofitable.
Now in the world, there exists no ecologically safe type of a nuclear reactor. Projects of reactors with internal passive safety are only developing.
The decision of the Governmental Commission of Experts of Belarus, passed in 1999, was absolutely correct: declare a moratorium on the construction of NPP for a period of 10 years, study “the operational experience of a new generation of “safe reactors” which are being developed in France, USA, Germany, Russia, and only after 5-years experience of their successful operation, take a decision on the further destiny of development of atomic energy in Belarus”. Mr. I.N.Smoljar and G.F.Lepin worked in this Commission of Experts, and were among the 23 opponents of the construction of NPP in Belarus.
On the basis of the conclusion of the Governmental Commission of Experts, the Chamber of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus, has decided in 2000 a 10-years moratorium on the construction of NPP in Belarus, and decided that the principal orientation of the development of power in Belarus would rely on steam-gaseous installations using natural gas.
Nuclear energy – technology of high risk (the danger of nuclear incidents in is 15 times higher in NPP, than in thermoelectric power stations using natural gas). It is a technology of rich countries. The sad experience of the consequences of the accident in the Chernobyl NPP has shown that the dimension of a nuclear catastrophe are so enormous, that the economic potential of one country are insufficient to provide radiation protection for all the population of this country.
For example, the radiation accident in the Chernobyl NPP in 1986, on the territory of the Ukraine, near to the southern border of Belarus, has caused the radiation contamination of 23 % of territory of this republic, where more than 2,5 million people live (one in four inhabitant of Belarus), including 500 thousand children. One million eight hundred thousand hectares of farmland and 1,6 million hectares of forests were contaminated. Nearly 276 thousand hectares are deduced from farmland. The economic damage is to Belarus amounts to around 235 billion dollars, representing 32 annual national budgets of the republic. Many citizens of the Ukraine and of Russia have also suffered from Chernobyl accident.
The Chernobyl accident has already had very serious consequences for the citizens of Belarus, and any additional radiation influence and contamination of the territory of the republic, connected with the construction of a new NPP, is capable to render these consequences catastrophic and irreversible.
Belarus and the world community should draw practical conclusions from the negative consequences of the accident in the Chernobyl NPP. Belarus, as the country most injured by the Chernobyl accident, has historically been the initiator of the acceptance, by the international community, of laws on the liability for nuclear damage. This principle should be put in practice: “the polluter is the payer”.
It is necessary to introduce in international relations, an indisputable interdiction of construction of NPP and other dangerous installations in zones, adjoining territories of neighbour state (not closer than 200 km), without the consent of their Government, and without a referendum on this issue of these neighbour states.
At present more than 400 reactors operate in the world. As in the future, accidents such as Chernobyl accident are possible, an international nuclear insurance fund should be created, financed by countries operating nuclear reactors, to compensate injured countries and their population for the damages in cases of nuclear accidents.
Corresponding Member NAS of Belarus,
Winner of the State Award of Belarus,
Award of the Worker of Science and Technique of Belarus,
Participant in the Liquidation of the Consequences of the Accident
In the Chernobyl NPP in 1986-87. V.B.Nesterenko
Foreword ……………………………………………………………………………… 9
Clever ideas of clever people 14
This is very clear. 25
1.Is “nuclear” electric power really the cheapest? 32
1.1. How much does the construction of a NPP COST? 32
1.2. Why terms of construction of the NPP are tightened 34
1.3. Whether NPP could reach their designed service life 38
1.4. Is it easy to decommission NPP? 39
1.5. So how much does the electric power, produced on NPP cost? 41
2. Whether nuclear power plants are safe 48
2.1. About safety of NPP. 48
2.2. The staff decide all … But what and how? 52
2.3. Chernobyl and other. 54
2.4 And what there in Japan? 60
2.5. Switzerland. And at what here Chernobyl? 68
2.6. Whether it is possible to blow up the nuclear power plant? 70
2.7. Make itself (or 40 years back). 75
2.8. Shall we help the terrorist? 77
2.9. What is offered to build in Belarus 82
2.10. Where does the activity of Belarusian atomic lobbyists leads? 84
3. Ecology of atomic energy. 87
3.1. “Quiet” emissions from the nuclear power plants 87
3.2. We cannot wait for favor from the Nature…The version of academician Valery Legasov. 91
3.3. Where to put radioactive waste? 98
3.4. “Great rescue” 103
3.5. Influence of Chernobyl and other nuclear power plants in a normal regime on an environment. 108
3.6. The Consequences of nuclear accidents. 110
3.7. The sanitarian - frontier radiation-protection zone. 113
4.„The real mountains of disgraceful lie“ 117
4.1. „The real mountains of disgraceful lie“ 117
4.2. “Halva-halva…” or “As the thief has stolen cudgel from the other thief”. 124
5.”The Moment of truth” or severe truth 129
5.1. To head for “Mayak” 130
5.2. All in one “basket” 134
5.3. And to steal not difficultly 136
6. Accidents on NPPs and people 138
6.1. Medico biological consequences of accidents 138
6.2. Not catastrophe, not accident, and simply a fire? 145
6.3. Whether have grown wiser IAEA and WHO for three years? (To the Report of the United Nations “20 years after”). 152
6.4. “Touching care” of people 155
7. Security of the NPP by nuclear fuel 160
8. A modern condition of construction of NPP in the world. 165
8.1. Not development, but reducing of programs. 165
8.2. How various states concern to NPP. 173
9. Whether NPP strengthen the power of Belarus? 177
9.1. Whether can be the nuclear power plant a basis of power of the country? 177
9.2. What is “power safety”? 180
9.3. The attitude of the population of Belarus to construction of NPP. 184
10. Whether we shall be gone without atomic energy? 186
10.1. Whether we know all about possibilities of power? 186
10.2. Whether many power resources are necessary for us? 210
10.3. How we live today? 212
11. In a few words. 217
12. “Experiment” passes successfully. 256
The conclusion. 262
Epilogue - the Prevention! 266
The references 270
You have taken this small book in hands and are asking yourself: “Is it necessary to waste my time on reading it?” You will find yourself the answer to your question; our aim is only to help you with it.
It is probably not the first time that you have been discussing atomic energy or its utmost importance for our life today and, especially, for the future. And possibly, you believe that this kind of energy production is the most reasonable and irreplaceable for all of us and, especially for our children and grandchildren. There is no surprise in that. We ourselves believed same not so long time ago. But for the last years, we changed in a profound and serious way, truer - ways (different, but very instructive). The discovery of the perfect conspiracy surrounding nuclear power plants, has allowed us to look at things from a completely different perspective.
The ending of programs of construction of NPPs almost worldwide, the huge problems with their operation and safety, with the storage place for radioactive waste, and many other problems, have shaken our belief in a safe future coexistence of humankind with atomic energy.
First, increasingly serious doubts began to appear. Then we concluded, that many statements of the supporters of atomic energy (we shall name them atomic lobbyists) were not so convincing. Too many loud declarations and statements, but no confirmations and proofs. Our doubts increased. First each of us for himself, and later together, we tested the statements of atomic lobbyists.
Their statements are the following:
1. The nuclear electric power is the cheapest.
2. Nuclear power plants are completely safe.
3. Nuclear reactors do not bring any harm to us, the nature, they will rescue mankind from greenhouse effect and will conserve oxygen for people.
4. Nuclear fuel will suffice for humankind for ages.
5. All over the world nuclear plants are actively built.
6. We cannot live without atomic energy.
7. The majority of our fellow citizens support the construction of NPPs in our country.
The magic number - seven was typed.
We are sure, that it is necessary to reflect on all this! You probably already have answers for some of these statements by atomic lobbyists. For others, it might not be so clear. And it is not surprising: we too had to puzzle over, to re-read sets of clever books, to count and check up sets of figures, to participate in many conferences and discussions on these themes, before something cleared up. Everything, that we could understand, we have stated for you in this book.
^ Whether you want to know the truth?” in the title of the book, attracts your attention to following questions, your choice of a way of acquaintance with it depending on your answer to it:
Variant one: simply not read it.
Second variant: limit yourself to reading the name of the book and the final phrase on the last page.
Third variant: read only the conclusions of every section, written in bold font. This variant of reading becomes simpler, because in the final section of the book “Could not be shorter”, such samples are already written for you.
Fourth variant: read only the most important parts, written in normal and bold font, omitting details, estimations, facts, proofs and motivations written in the italics.
The first variant is the easiest. The last is the most difficult, as rather wide material is submitted not only to inform, but also to allow understanding, as well.
So, choose the variant that is closer to your spirit. Our unique request to you is following: whatever variant you have selected, do not leave this book to be covered with the dust somewhere on your shelf, and do not use its pages for recycled paper, or for other less decent purposes, which for us it would be especially insulting. Pass this book to a friend, a relative, an acquaintance, a neighbour or a stranger. Let them choose their variant. Pass it even to the ill wishers: if he takes something useful from this book it will also be useful for you.
Then, more people will understand what kind of malicious joke the atomic energy plays with all Humankind and with every one of us. Then, our Planet Earth will answer us with a great gratitude for its rescue!