Norway’s 650 million bill for the Chernobyl accident / News / The Foreigner

Norway’s 650 million bill for the Chernobyl accident. Country and animals still counting the cost. The first few years after the explosion were the most expensive. Large quantities of radioactive meat had to be destroyed, and many animals had to be treated by using a method that the Norwegians call “foddering down”. Treatment is relatively simple: the animals are fed a controlled cesium-free diet, sometimes laced with a cesium binder (normally ferrocyanides of iron, also known as Prussian blue), for up to six weeks before slaughtering.At the time of the accident, the Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture expressed fears that as many as 100,000 sheep, which spend most of the summer on semi-wild mountainside or woodland pastures, may have to be treated for radioactivity because of a bumper mushroom crop. Since then, a total of 300,000 animals have had to be treated.

chernobyl, nuclear, reactor, 4, accident, explosion, disaster, radiation, contamination, norway, bill, huge, costs



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Norway’s 650 million bill for the Chernobyl accident

Published on Thursday, 17th September, 2009 at 13:22 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson and Tony Samstag   .
Last Updated on 18th September 2009 at 15:14.

Country and animals still counting the cost.

Chernobyl reactor 4
Chernobyl reactor 4
Photo: Tim Suess/Flickr


Treatment costs

The first few years after the explosion were the most expensive. Large quantities of radioactive meat had to be destroyed, and many animals had to be treated by using a method that the Norwegians call “foddering down”.

Treatment is relatively simple: the animals are fed a controlled cesium-free diet, sometimes laced with a cesium binder (normally ferrocyanides of iron, also known as Prussian blue), for up to six weeks before slaughtering.

At the time of the accident, the Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture expressed fears that as many as 100,000 sheep, which spend most of the summer on semi-wild mountainside or woodland pastures, may have to be treated for radioactivity because of a bumper mushroom crop. Since then, a total of 300,000 animals have had to be treated.

Mushrooms -- of which sheep are excessively fond -- are known to accumulate cesium, huge quantities of which were released by the explosion in the form of radioactive isotopes, and a full kilogram of which was subsequently calculated to have fallen on Norway.

1988 was an exceptional year for mushrooms, readings as high as 13,000 Becquerel per kilo of meat were recorded in three of the Norwegian counties most affected by fallout from Chernobyl, a quadrupling of the previous year's levels and more than 20 times the Norwegian health limit of 600 Bq.

Ongoing

Adding to the size of the bill are the annual costs of monitoring and treatment of crops and livestock for radioactivity. This has become an annual ritual in Norway since the accident.

“The decrease in radioactive contamination is slower for each year that passes. Nobody could have predicted that this would take so long,” Astrid Liland, departmental head at the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority tells nationen.no.

Over 10,000 sheep have had to be foddered down in the course of the last few years, and radioactive cesium is still to be found in goat’s milk in some parts of the country. Liland expects that up to 30,000 animals in general – including reindeer -- will need to be foddered down this autumn.



Published on Thursday, 17th September, 2009 at 13:22 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson and Tony Samstag   .
Last updated on 18th September 2009 at 15:14.

This post has the following tags: chernobyl, nuclear, reactor, 4, accident, explosion, disaster, radiation, contamination, norway, bill, huge, costs.





  
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