Ten years after the Chernobyl explosion what steps have been taken to protect people in Ireland in the event of a nuclear disaster?
On 26 April 1986 Reactor Number 4 in Chernobyl exploded. It was only in the following days that high radiation was registered in other parts of Europe and the world began to realise the extent of the disaster. The explosion in Chernobyl spilled radiation over most of Europe and left a huge legacy of contamination and disease.
Ten years following the Chernobyl disaster,
International early warning signals are in place.
If a reactor blew tonight in Sellafield or elsewhere, the Gardaí should know almost immediately.
Since then a National Emergency Plan has been established by Government as part of a network of International Early Warning Centres. The Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland in Clonskeagh and the National Radiation Laboratory are involved in monitoring the affect on Ireland. John Cunningham from the Radiological Protection Institute explains what the steps are if a nuclear disaster occurs.
Since Chernobyl a computer system has been installed at the Institute taking readings from radiation monitors around the country. Another computer monitors the weather because
If it rains on top a radioactive cloud, it washes the contamination down on to the soil.
If people are contaminated they can be tested in various hospitals and Michael Casey, Physicist at St. Vincent's Hospital explains how there are interventions to eliminate the radiation from the body.
Patricia McKenna MEP is worried how very little is known by people and local councils along the east coast about the evacuation plan should a nuclear accident to occur in Sellafield.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 25 April 1996. The reporter is Carole Coleman.