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Radioactive Contamination of Georgia

#G-1115


Biological Detection of Altered Balance in Biocenoses, Induced by Transuranium Elements on the Strategically Important Territories of Georgia, as a Result of Global Precipitates and the Catastrophe on Chernobyl Nuclear Plant

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-WPC/Water Pollution and Control/Environment
  • ENV-APC/Air Pollution and Control/Environment
  • ENV-EHS/Environmental Health and Safety/Environment

Status
3 Approved without Funding

Registration date
30.12.2003

Leading Institute
Tbilisi State University, Georgia, Tbilisi

Collaborators

  • University of Wisconsin / Great Lake Water Institute, USA, WI, Milwaukee\nChemical Diversity Labs, Inc., USA, CA, San Diego

Project summary

The works carried out within the frameworks of the Project G-309 have shown extremely unfavorable ecological situation concerned with chemical pollution on the territory of Georgia.

The goal of the Project is continuation of the previous one (G-309) with distinction that within the framework of proposed project the radiation pollution will be studied on the Black Sea coast, which has been aggravated by the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant disaster and chemical factors influencing the health of the population.

The other aims of the Project are investigations of radioecological situation on the former- and actual military bases in Georgia.

Importance of the problem is determined by the fact that Soviet regime strictly classified area of the Chernobyl disaster (26.04.1986). Therefore, International Forum in Vienna, dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, where 800 delegates of 90 countries of the world were invited, has published the global map of the Cesium-137- and Strontium-90-polluted countries of the world. Georgia was not included in these. However, on the All-Russia Conference “Problems of Antiradiational Defense” (November 16-17, 1998), organized by the Scientific Council of Radiobiology, the resolution and the Project for joint investigations – “Search for the ways of rehabilitation of the people living in the radioecologically unfavorable regions of Western Georgia” - have been passed. All the scientists presented on the Conference, the number of which including the foreigners (Western countries) was over 300, unanimously consented in the voting for inclusion of Georgia, as the fourth country, into the list of countries affected by the Chernobyl power plant disaster, following Ukraine, Belorussia, and Russia. Indeed, according to the measurements made by the scientists of I.N.Vekua Physical-Technological Institute at Sukhumi, and to the work published by Nuclear Society – “Radioecological results of Chernobyl disaster” (I.I.Kryshev, Ed.) – it has been manifested that the high level of pollution with transuranium elements covers not only the Black Sea coast of Georgia, but the whole Transcaucasian region as well. Therefore, in a number of Georgian regions thousands of people are forced to live, and children – to grow and develop, - under permanent impact of various doses of ionizing radiation on the background of unfavorable ecological conditions. Condition is aggravated even more because of uncontrollable, without any measures of safety, discarding of special sources of ionizing radiation on the former and acting military bases of the former USSR. These frequently lead to the strong irradiation of both civilian population of Georgia (Matkhoni village) and military servicemen (Military base of Vaziani).

Today, in Russia, Belorussia, and Ukraine, various programs are implemented for rehabilitation of the population affected by the Chernobyl disaster. The world community supports these programs, while in Georgia numerous groups of people are left unaided. The State is unable to help these people because in the earlier time the Soviet regime concealed from the world community the fact of pollution with transuranium elements of the Georgian territory, as a result of Chernobyl disaster.

Thus, execution of the complex measures for rehabilitation of the population dwelling in radioecologically unfavorable regions of Western Georgia, in Adjarian region in particular has a paramount importance.

Scientific value of the project implies separation and investigation of the impact of the main deteriorating factors of the radioecological environment on the functioning of the living organisms.

Radiational influence within the less controllable margins, including those elicited by the incorporated Transuranium elements.

Dependence of the organisms’ reaction on the intensity and value of various doses of ionizing irradiation.

Influence of the pollution with transuranium elements in conditions of prolonged impact (several months, years) on the human health. evaluation of medical-biological states of the living organisms living in the unfavorable radioecological conditions of the Western Georgia. Following conclusion of the first stage of the Project G-309, which was concerned mostly with screening and monitoring of different pollutants appearing on the soils of special objects under study, recommendations will be forwarded to the Georgian Department of Land-Survey. As to the second stage of the Project G-309, which implies a complex study of the content of Transuranium elements in water, soil, vegetation, animals, and human, every necessary measures will be taken with an aim to classify these regions for their further implementation in industry and agriculture.

Deterioration of the thyroid gland function, reproduction and other functions of the living system.

Neuro-psychological stress situation in conditions of the radioecological hazard, aggravated by the complex social-economical conditions.

Practical value of the Project implies determination of the pathogenic influences of radioecological conditions on the population health – increased sickness rate, premature aging, decreased life span, increased incidence of tumor diseases, and decreased reproduction in the healthy youth. On the basis of the investigations results the programs for preventive health-rendering and treatment measures will be elaborated for each specific region of Georgia, which will provide for life rescue and prolongation in thousands of Georgian population living in the unfavorable radioecological conditions in Adjarian region, and totally in the regions of the Black Sea coast of Georgia.

On the basis of expected experimental data the land-survey will be made for those parts of the earth, which will be incorporated into the regional agriculture.

The Project has significant economical and, especially humanitarian, importance for Georgia, because in a case of its fulfillment probability of reproduction in the practically healthy population and longevity of those tenths of thousands Georgian citizens, who already live in the radioecologically unfavorable conditions of the Black Sea coast regions of Georgia, will increase significantly.


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