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International Atomic Energy Agency
Information Circular
(Unofficial electronic edition)
INFCIRC/510
7 June 1996

GENERAL Distr.
Original: ENGLISH


The International Conference "One Decade After Chernobyl: Summing up the Consequences of the Accident"

  1. An International Conference entitled "One decade after Chernobyl: Summing up the consequences of the accident" was held at the Austria Center Vienna from 8 to 12 April 1996, the aim being to seek a common and conclusive understanding of the nature and magnitude of the consequences of the Chernobyl accident. It was sponsored by the European Commission (EC), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) - in co-operation with the United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs (UNDHA), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Environment Programme, the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (NEA/OECD).

  2. The Conference was attended by 845 participants and observers from 71 countries and 20 organizations and covered by 208 journalists from 31 countries and two organizations.

  3. The Conference took into account the findings of, inter alia, the WHO Conference on the Health Consequences of the Chernobyl Accident and other Radiological Accidents held in Geneva from 20 to 23 November 1995 and the First International Conference of the European Union, Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine on the Consequences of the Chernobyl Accident held in Minsk from 18 to 22 March 1996 and of a preceding International Forum "One decade after Chernobyl: Nuclear safety aspects" sponsored by the IAEA and UNDHA and held in Vienna from 1 to 3 April 1996.

  4. The Conference was based on a multi-tier approach, with

  5. The Conference was presided over by Ms. A. Merkel, Germany's Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.

  6. The Panel Discussion was presided over by Ms. C. Lepage, France's Minister for the Environment.

  7. The President of the Conference was assisted by Mr. A. Birkhofer, Managing Director of Germany's Gesellschaft für Anlagen- und Reaktorsicherheit (Institute for Reactor Safety), Mr. A. Kaul, President of Germany's Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz (Federal Office for Radiation Protection) and by a Bureau consisting of: Mr. F. Mettler, Chairman of the Department of Radiology at the University of New Mexico, United States of America, and the United States delegate to UNSCEAR; Mr. I. Shigematsu, Director of the Radiation Effects Research Foundation, Hiroshima, Japan; and Mr. P. Vesseron, Director of France's Institut de Protection et de Sûreté Nucléaire.

  8. The organization and progress of the Conference were monitored by an Advisory Committee consisting of Mr. I. Rolevich, Belarus's First Deputy Minister for Emergencies and for Protection of the Population from the Consequences of the Chernobyl Catastrophe, Mr. L. Ilyin of the Russian Federation's Academy of Medical Sciences and Mr. V. Kholosha, Ukraine's Minister for Protection of the Population from the Consequences of the Accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

  9. At the Opening Session, the keynote address was given by the Conference President following addresses by the IAEA's Director General, Mr. H. Blix, WHO's Director-General, Mr. H. Nakajima, the EC's Deputy Director General for Scientific Research and Development, Mr. H. Tent, and the Director of the United Nations Department for Humanitarian Affairs, Mr. M. Griffiths.

  10. National statements were made by the President of Belarus, Mr. A. Lukashenko, the Russian Federation's Minister for Civil Defence, Emergencies and the Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters, Mr. S. Shoigu, and the Prime Minister of Ukraine, Mr. Ye. Marchuk.

  11. At the Briefing Seminar, Updating Reports were presented on: the International Chernobyl Project2 and the recent IAEA project "One decade after Chernobyl: Environmental impact assessment"3; the WHO Conference on the Health Consequences of the Chernobyl Accident and other Radiological Accidents; the First International Conference of the European Union, Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine on the Consequences of the Chernobyl Accident; the Chernobyl-related activities of UNESCO, UNSCEAR, FAO and NEA/OECD; and major projects of Germany, Japan and the United States of America implemented in collaboration with Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine.

  12. During the Technical Symposium, background papers were presented by Rapporteurs at the beginning of the Topical Sessions as a means of stimulating free, open discussion among the Conference participants4, 181 detailed papers were displayed at the Poster Sessions and 12 exhibits were presented in the Technical Exhibition.

  13. The exhibits were presented by: Cuba ("Cuban studies of children from areas affected by the Chernobyl accident"); the EC (on the Group of 24's Nuclear Safety Assistance Co-ordination - NUSAC - programme); the EC and the Commonwealth of Independent States (on their joint Chernobyl research programme); Germany's Gesellschaft für Reaktorsicherheit (GRS), France's Institut de Protection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IPSN) and the Russian Research Centre - Kurchatov Institute (RRK-KI); the IAEA's Laboratories at Seibersdorf, Austria; the IAEA's International Nuclear Information System (INIS); NEA/OECD; the Russian Federation; Ukraine; UNESCO; WHO; and WHO and the European Centre for Environment and Health, Rome.

  14. The contents of the papers and the technical exhibits and the outcome of related discussions were summarized for each topic by the Chairperson of the relevant Topical Session, the summaries being submitted to the President and her assistants, the Bureau, the Advisory Committee and the Joint Secretariat of the sponsoring organizations for the preparation of the Conclusions of the Conference.

  15. The Conclusions of the Conference were presented at the Closing Session. In addition, Mr. A. Kaul, one of the Conference President's assistants, submitted the Conclusions at the 1996 International Congress on Radiation Protection (IRPA9), which was held by the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) at Vienna's Hofburg Conference Centre from 15 to 19 April 1996.

  16. The summary of the Conference results, which was formulated by the President and her assistants, the Bureau, the Advisory Committee and the Joint Secretariat of the sponsoring organizations, is contained in the Attachment to this document. The full Proceedings of the Conference will be available later in the year.


1 The Topical Sessions dealth with: (i) Clinically observed effects; (ii) Thyroid effects; (iii) Longer-term health effects; (iv) Other health- related effects: psychological consequences, stress, anxiety; (v) Consequences for the environment; (vi) Social, economic, institutional and political impact; (vii) Nuclear safety remedial measures; and (viii) The consequences in perspective: Prognosis for the future.

2 The IAEA published the results of the International Chernobyl Project in 1991 as an Overview (STI/PUB/884), a Technical Report (STI/PUB/885) and a set of surface contamination maps (STI/PUB/886). It also published in 1991 the proceedings of the conference at which the results were examined (STI/PUB/894).

3 The project "One decade after Chernobyl: Environmental Impact Assessment" was initiated pursuant to a request made by the Delegate of Belarus at the 1994 session of the IAEA's General Conference (see para. 134 of IAEA document GC(XXXVIII)/OR.7) and carried out with the support of scientific institutions in Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine and of France's Institut de Protections et de Sûreté Nucléaire.

4 Copies of the background papers, which were provided to the Conference participants and to the Permanent Missions of IAEA Member States, will continue to be made available (on request) by the IAEA's Division of Radiation and Waste Safety and will be included in the proceedings of the Conference to be published later this year.