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Chernobyl

Display the path and extension of the radioactive cloud

Support Note 

Thanks to the representation of cesium-137 radioactivity concentration over Europe between 26 April and 6 May 1986.


The radioactive particles released during the explosion of the reactor were blown over thousands of kilometers by the wind
  • Air contamination levels were significantly different depending on the geographical area and changed rapidly between 30 April and 5 May
  • The deposition of radioactive particles is enhanced during rainfall
  • Deposition across France, and throughout Europe, is highly uneven
  • Contamination of foodstuffs was determined by the date of the accident and deposition characteristics
  • After deposition, the contamination level of farm produce fell at variable rates
  • Since 1987, the contamination of farm produce has fallen faster than the radioactive decay of caesium
  • Special cases concerning more sensitive products
  • Mean doses received by the French population from the Chernobyl accident were low
  • In France, the issues raised about how the accident affected health concern thyroid cancer


  • Understanding the accident and its consequences in 9 chapters

    Download the booklet (1.5 Mo)
    Chernobyl booklet



    1. The accident
    2. The releases
    3. Dispersion of the radioactive plume over Europe
    4. Radioactive depositions in Europe
    5. Contamination of environments and farm produce
    6. Health impact in the most contaminated areas
    7. Doses received in France and related risks
    8. The site today
    9. Lessons learned from Chernobyl




    Access public archives of IRSN research


    Chernobyl, 20 years on

    Between and, IRSN continued its research into the modelling of radioactive deposits resulting from the accident and finalised the programme known as the "Franco-German initiative" of scientific cooperation with the Ukraine, Belarus and Russia launched in 1996. IRSN's Scientific Board assessed the Institute's work on the consequences of the accident in France. Finally, IRSN published an analysis note on the deposit maps produced by SCPRI in May and June 1986.

    IRSN Report 2005-03
    Phenomenological and analytical interpretation of the rain-deposit relation used for the reconstitution of the 137Cs deposits in France after the Chernobyl accident

    Download (31.6 Mo)

    IRSN Report 2006-01
    Analysis on the coherence of the different approaches to the reconstitution of 137Cs deposits in France after the Chernobyl accident

    Download (0.9 Mo)

    Mapping radioactive fallout in France from the Chernobyl accident: comparative presentation of the different approaches
    Download (0.8 Mo)

    IRSN's Scientific Board assessed the research conducted by the Institute's researchers on the fallout in France from the Chernobyl accident :
    Download the Scientific Board's opinions given on 27 March

    Maps of the radioactive fallout on the ground presented by SCPRI in May and June 1986
    Download IRSN's analysis note

     

    Chernobyl, 17 years on

    Download the report (2.4 Mo)

    Chernobyl, 16 years on

    Download the report (1.4 Mo)

    Chernobyl, 15 years on

    Download the report (1.9 Mo)

    Chernobyl, 14 years on

    Download the report (0.8 Mo)

    Chernobyl, 13 years on

    Download the report (0.2 Mo)


    Further information


    Final conclusions on the Franco-German initiative (IFA) for Chernobyl launched in 1996 :

    • Safety of the sarcophagus
        Programme 1 (8.7 Mo)
    • Study on radioecological consequences
        Programme 2 (6.7 Mo)
    • Study on health impacts
        Programme 3 (3.8 Mo)


    Information file on the Aurengo mission :

    In, the Ministers for Health and the Environment asked Professor Aurengo to study the radioactive fallout in France from the Chernobyl accident and its consequences on health.

    See file



    Criticisms sent to IPSN concerning the estimated consequences of the Chernobyl accident in France :

    IRSN/DSDRE/GT Report No. 3 of July

    See file