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Smoldering Peat Fire Greenpeace Russia
Smoltering Peat Fire by Greenpeace Russia
Peat Fire in the Bryansk Region: News – May 4, 2015
Greenpeace staff again found dozens of areas, including in the area of ​​Chernobyl [fallout] trace. None of the regional authorities knew about them.

[Note: A GBq is one billion becquerels (i.e. radioactive emissions per second; a kilogram (kg) is 2.2 pounds; 6 million hectares is 60,000 square kilometers; 23,166 square miles; 14.8 million acres.]

Below is the Abstract of an article about fires-fire prevention in the areas most severely contaminated by Chernobyl: 6 million hectares (14.8 million acres). The UK, Norway, Sweden and Finland were also highly contaminated from Chernobyl and remain so (1,000 plus Bq/kg of Cs in Reindeer and sheep). Most of Europe was very contaminated in a splotchy way and remains so (sometimes more than the 600 Bq/kg allowed in German Wild Boar). It was largely the luck of the draw of wind and rain.

By allowing over 1,500 Bq/kg in American food (15 x more than Japan’s 100 Bq/kg), the US government has pre-rigged the system so that people will be forced to stay on contaminated land and will have no legal recourse, when an old nuclear reactor pressure vessel fails and when there are more nuclear dump leaks (e.g. WIPP). This is why radiation exposure standards for air, food, and water are the most important of all. Since ultra contaminated food, water and land are now acceptable, then an exploded nuclear reactor pressure vessel is also now acceptable. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/04/24/us-radionuclides-in-imported-foods-levels-of-concern/

Abstract from:
International Forest Fire News (IFFN) No. 32 (January – June 2005, 119-125)
Transport of Radioactive Materials by Wildland fires in the Chernobyl Accident Zone: How to Address the Problem
” by Sergey I. Dusha-Gudym All-Russian Research Institute for Silviculture and Mechanization of Forestry (VNIILM) Pushkino, Moscow Region


As a result of failure on the Chernobyl nuclear power plant a total of six million hectares (ha) of forest lands were polluted by radionuclides. The most polluted forest area covers over 2 million ha in Gomel and Mogilev regions of Byelorussia (Belarus), in Kiev region of the Ukraine and in Bryansk region of the Russian Federation. The main contaminator is caesium-137 (137Cs); in the core zones of contamination strontium-90 (90Sr) and plutonium-239 (239Pu) are found in high concentrations. Radioactive emissions from wildfires occurring in contaminated vegetation represent a high risk for firefighters. In addition populations are affected by radioactive smoke particles transported over long distances.

The most contaminated territories are located in the closed zone around Chernobyl in the Ukraine and the Polessky state radiation-ecological reserve in Gomel region of Byelorussia. Here the soils are concentrated with highest contamination by radionuclides. The total area of the reserve is 215,500 ha. Soils contaminated by concentrations ranging from 1517 to 2,960 GBq/km2 cover 40% of the territory of the reserve. Here there are also sites contaminated by Sr-90 and Pu-239. The closed zone in the Ukraine covers the an area of over 100,000 ha contaminated by Cs-137, Sr-90, Pu-239. The considerable part of forest areas of adjoining districts in Gomel, Mogilev and Bryansk regions have also high level of radioactive contamination.

This region constitutes the largest area in the world with the highest contamination by radionuclides and is located in a fire-prone forest environment in the centre of Europe. Every year several hundred to several thousand of wildfires are occurring here affecting forests, peatlands, extended areas of contaminated and abandoned agricultural lands and former estates. The population of this area is 4.5 million people.

During fires on the abandoned lands and other open areas the surface fuels contaminated by radionuclides – the grass layer and the surface layer of peat fields – are burnt practically completely. Extended radioactive fires occurred in the closed zones in 1992: In the Ukrainian part 12,000 ha of forest were burnt, in the Byelorussian part – 1,200 ha. Outside the closed zone fires covered 870 ha of forest lands in Gomel and Mogilev regions. In Bryansk region the area of radio-active fires was less than 200 ha. As a result of the fires Cs-137 radionuclides were lifted and transported by the smoke to the territory of Russia, especially in May and August 1992.

In 1993-2001 a total of 770 wildfires in the closed zone of the Ukraine affected 2482 ha (4.4 % forest, > 95 % abandoned lands and agricultural estates. In the period 1993-2000 186 wildfires occurred in the closed zone of Byelorussia and affected an area of 3136 ha including 1458 ha of forest (46.5 %).

A number of measures are proposed to prevent the occurrence of fires in the contaminated areas, thus reducing the emission of radioactive particles and the contamination of fire service personnel and population by ionic radiation. Besides fire prevention measures practical actions include remote detection of forest fires, remote methods of fire suppression, and breathing protection of firefighters.” Emphasis our own. Read the article and see maps and graphs here: http://www.fire.uni-freiburg.de/iffn/iffn_32/20-Dusha-Gudym.pdf Learn about the global fire monitoring center here: http://www.fire.uni-freiburg.de