'Chernobyl is not finished, it has only just begun'「チェルノブイリは終わっていない。始まったばかりである。」
Of course this applies to Fukushima. Dr. Bandazhevsky visited Japan several times being very concerned with the situation in Fukushima.
Moreover, health hazards in Fukushima has been covered much less compared to Chernobyl, which has also been undercovered.
Yury Bandazhevsky detailed Chernobyl’s devastating impact on people's health, particularly that of children, in Belarus. Now he lives in exile while the government insists "Everything's OK."
The National Academy of Sciences and Amnesty International say he was detained for his outspoken criticism of Belarus’ public health policies following the nuclear disaster. He was released in 2005 and given French citizenship, after rights groups took up his case along with the European Union, Britain, France and Germany. He now runs a medical and rehabilitation center outside Kiev dedicated to studying and caring for Chernobyl’s victims.
Bandazhevsky has not returned to Belarus for fear that his family there could be persecuted or arrested by authorities.
Here are his words, edited and condensed for clarity:
KIEV, Ukraine — If you were told that a lot is already known in Ukraine and Belarus about what Chernobyl has done to these countries, than I can tell you that you are wrong. How can I put it? It is only after 30 years that we are starting to see the real impact. We can say for sure that Belarus was affected more. There was more radioactive fallout there. The doses the general population received were huge. My students and colleagues and I observed it when I arrived in Gomel in 1990 to organize the medical institute (now a university).
At the first, we were observing the effects of the large doses because Gomel was located in the epicenter of this high level of contamination. Then we started to look at the accumulation of radioactive elements in internal organs at lower doses, children’s in particular. We were already seeing a complex pathology affecting the endocrine system (which produces hormones), the cardiovascular system and almost all the internal organs. This was work that had never been done in Belarus and has not been done since.
See Chernobyl through the eyes of an artist as Mariya Kobylynska interprets the disaster through her beautiful paintings. Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY
I don’t have any objective information about what is happening now with the health of children in Belarus. Everything is closed. The government says, ‘Everything’s OK, everything’s OK.’ But I get telephone calls from people in Gomel and they tell me that many of the children we were observing before I left have died. They were of different ages: 6, 12, 14. I will never forget appearing on television in Belarus with the president (Alexander Lukashenko). I was saying we were seeing very serious problems in children because of radiation, while he was saying ‘Everything’s OK.’ But I can’t touch this, because I can’t go there, or work there.
For me, the problem of Chernobyl is not finished, it has only just begun.
I am very much afraid that in one or two generations from now, the (descendants) of the population of Belarus and Ukraine that were affected by Chernobyl will vanish. I am afraid of that very much. I don’t want my countrymen to perish. It’s possible that help from the international community to understand what is going on is needed now, just as much as it was immediately after the accident.