From 28 September to 1 October 2010, Dr. Eduardo B. Farfan, scientist at the US Department of Energy (DOE)’s Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL), visited the Chernobyl Center’s International Radioecology Laboratory (IRL) to discuss a joint research project entitled “Returning Chernobyl Land to Productive Use: Evaluation of Natural Enhanced Attenuation of Contaminant Radionuclides under Potential Land Use Scenarios.” This project is currently being funded by DOE’s Office of Environmental Management (International Program).
Furthermore, Dr. Mikhail Bondarkov, the Chernobyl Center’s Director General, and Dr. Farfan discussed other potential collaborative research areas involving the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. The recent collaborative efforts between IRL and SRNL have involved three other projects: 1) Long-term impacts from radiation/contamination within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone; 2) Assessment of Sr-90 and Cs-137 penetration into reinforced concrete under natural atmospheric conditions; and 3) the development of a Health Physics Journal supplemental issue dedicated to the collaborative efforts. IRL and SRNL will publish a large number of scientific journal articles based on recent and current joint projects. Presently, seven scientific journal articles have been accepted for publication (*).
In addition, Dr. Farfan met with Dr. Yuri Bondar, Deputy Director for Science of the Pollessie State Radiation-Ecological Reserve (PSRER), an organization managed by the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Belarus, Department of Mitigation of the Consequences of the Catastrophe at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.
During the meeting, Drs. Farfan and Bondar discussed the decision of the government of the Republic of Belarus to return areas evacuated after the Chernobyl accident back into general use. This governmental decision is of great interest to Dr. Farfan and his colleagues at Savannah River National Laboratory because of its direct relationship with their current project with IRL. Drs. Farfan and Bondar also interchanged ideas regarding possible research areas of interest to SRNL and PSRER and would like to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the two organizations to pursue joint research interests.
Information Department of Chornobyl Center