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EDITORIAL DESK | September 8, 2005
Chernobyl's Reduced Impact
An authoritative scientific report commissioned by the United Nations has found that the 1986 accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in rural Ukraine -- the worst nuclear accident in history -- caused far less health and environmental damage than originally feared. The findings offer clues for coping with a major release of radiation from a nuclear plant, whether caused by terrorists or by an accident.
No sooner had the report been issued this week than it was attacked by several environmental groups as a biased attempt to whitewash the potential dangers of nuclear power. But the report reflects the consensus of eight United Nations agencies, including those responsible for health, the environment and nuclear power, and the governments of Belarus, Ukraine and Russia.
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