Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


The Chernobyl Tissue Bank (CTB), Final report (summary)

Project ID: FIR1-CT-2001-20123
Funded under: FP5-EAECTP C


The Chernobyl accident happened on 26 April 1986, when an experiment went disastrously wrong. The resultant explosion and fire in the graphite core led to the release of more than 1019 becquerel (Bq) of radioisotopes including 1.8 x 1018 Bq of 131-iodine, 2.5 x 1018 133-iodine, and 1.1 x 1018 132-tellurium, which decays to 132-iodine. It was the largest release of radioiodine into the environment and the radiation exposure of the population was quite different from that of the atomic bombs in Japan. In Japan, many people were killed by the blast from the bomb and those who survived received mainly external radiation. The most pronounced risk of thyroid cancer in those exposed to radiation from the atomic bomb was found in those exposed under the age of 10 years and the highest risk 15-29 years after exposure; an increased risk was still present 40 years after exposure. The routes of exposure after the Chernobyl accident were largely those of inhalation or ingestion of radionuclides. The thyroid is the only organ in the body to concentrate and bind iodine; exposure to the thyroid from 131-iodine is 1000-2000 times the average body dose.

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