11 new members from Canada have recently been appointed and joined the Union.
Among them, we are pleased to welcome 9 young radioecologists currently studying at the McMaster University of Toronto, Canada.
Some of these students took part in the Chernoby777 course, from 18 to 29 May 2009, which included a visiting trip on site to meet with local scientisits and to develop several case studies under the supervision of Carmel Mothersill.
Brief overview on the course objectives and contents:
A group of McMaster graduate students went to Chernobyl in May to learn about the accident and its consequences for Ukraine and Belarus.
The graduate course entitled "Chernobyl Experience" aimed to give students an understanding of the accident by visiting the reactor and having lectures from key scientists in the Ukraine and Belarus who dealt with the clean-up and who monitor the on-going situation in the 30Km exclusion zone.
The group spent a week in Chernobyl then relaxed in Kiev for the weekend before continuing the course in Belarus. A key element of the course was the multidisciplinary approach. The participants included Engineering Physics, Medical and Health Physics students and faculty but also included Public Policy, Nursing, History and Social Geography students and faculty.
McMaster faculty lectured to Belorussian and Ukrainian students as well as the McMaster group about the engineering mistakes which led to the accident and how these are not possible in modern Canadian designed reactors. They also discussed the social problems caused by the evacuation and the uncertainties which are still hotly debated about the environmental and health consequences.
The trip was sponsored by International Union of Radioecology and a web site of the student essays, case studies and power-point presentations is being developed. The participants are still debating and discussing the science presented during the trip on email.
More detailed reporting will be made on this website soon.