Department of Earth Sciences

Environmental Effects on Soil, Surface Water, and Groundwater Bodies Resulting from the Chernobyl Accident and its Aftermath

  • Date: –12:00
  • Location: Geocentrum Luftrummet
  • Lecturer: Boris Faybishenko, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA
  • Organiser: LUVAL
  • Contact person: Benoit Dessirier
  • Föreläsning

On April 26, 1986, a sudden surge of power during a reactor systems test destroyed Unit 4 of the nuclear power station at Chernobyl, Ukraine, in the former Soviet Union.  Since then hundreds of thousands of scientists, engineers, and technicians in practically all fields of sciences and engineering from all continents have been working on the multitude of Chernobyl problems.

Thousands of papers, articles and reports and hundreds of books were published.  Chernobyl, the worst nuclear accident in history, created an inadvertent laboratory to study the impacts of radiation — and more than 30 years later, the site still holds surprises, for example related to the effective half-life of  radionuclides and distribution of hot particles.

The presentation will give an overview of some lessons learned over the past years, in particular, the environmental effects of the Chernobyl accident on the major pathways of radionuclide releases and distributions – atmospheric pathways (wind distribution and hot particles), terrestrial pathways (distribution with depth in the vadose/unsaturated zone and groundwater vulnerability), and aquatic pathways (small watersheds, rivers), as well as a problem of decommissioning and remediation of the Chernobyl Cooling Pond, which is one of the most significant contaminated water bodies.


Presenter: Boris Faybishenko, D.Sc., a Staff scientist at Energy Geosciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, California, USA, has been involved in Chernobyl studies since 1986, and participated in a number of U.S. DOE and IAEA projects on the Chernobyl. Since 2009, he has been a Technical Expert of IAEA on the decommissioning and remediation of the Chernobyl Cooling Pond. Boris edited several publications on Chernobyl, including a Special Issue for the International Journal, Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Special Issue No.1, December 2003; and Groundwater Vulnerability: Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster, published by American Geophysical Union and Wiley, 2014.