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Forest fires near Chernobyl raised cesium concentration in the air, but its impact is small
Reported by the SATREPS Ukraine Project

Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development(SATREPS)

In April 2020, forest fires broke out in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and its surrounding area. In response to this, the Institute of Environmental Radioactivity, Fukushima University has posted information on its website including the ranges of fire and cesium concentration levels in the air that co-researchers in Ukraine measured. The project “Strengthening of the Environmental Radiation Control and Legislative Basis for the Environmental Remediation of Radioactively Contaminated Sites” under the framework of the SATREPS program is led by Prof. Nanba Kenji of Fukushima University in collaboration with Ukraine state agencies and research institutes.

The results of the investigation showed an increase in the levels of cesium-137 concentration in the city of Kiev because of the forest fires. However, the additional radiation exposure dose was far smaller than the expected amount.

For more information, please refer to the press release (, which is in Japanese, or contact the Institute of Environmental Radioactivity, Fukushima University.

Institute of Environmental Radioactivity at Fukushima University
Tel +81-24-504-2114  FAX +81-24-503-2921

The project has engaged in constructing radioactivity monitoring systems at the research institutions in Ukraine, and for this occasion, these monitoring systems have been extensively utilized.

The project will continue to conduct research on the radiological impact associated with forest fires, such as simulating the air transportation of radioactive substances caused by forest fires. Through the collaboration of research institutions in Ukraine and Japan, further detailed data will be made public.


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