Book Review



Consulting Editor Janette D. Sherman-Nevinger

Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment is written by Alexey Yablokov, Vassily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko. The senior author, Dr. Alexey Yablokov was State Councilor for Environment and Health under Yeltsin and a member of the Russian Academy of Science – since then he receives no support. Yablokov is an Honorary Foreign Member of the American Academy Art and Science (Boston.) Dr. Vassily Nesterenko, head of the Ukrainian Nuclear establishment at the time of the accident, flew over the burning reactor and took the only measurements. In August 2009, he died as a result of radiation damage, but earlier, with help from Andrei Sakarov, he was able to establish BELRAD to help children of the area. Dr. Alexey Nesterenko is a biologist/ ecologist based in Minsk, Belarus. Dr. Sherman-Nevinger is a physician and toxicologist and adjunct professor in the Environmental Research Center at Western Michigan University.

The authors abstracted data from more than 5000 published articles and studies, mostly available only in Slavic languages and not available to those outside of the former Soviet Union or Eastern bloc countries. The findings are by those who witnessed first-hand the effects of Chernobyl. This book is in contrast to findings by the World Health Organization (WHO), International Atomic energy Agency (IAEA) and (United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) who based their findings on some 300 western research papers, and who found little of concern about the fallout from Chernobyl.

The explosion of the fourth reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on April 26, 1986 was hundreds of times larger than the radioactive contamination from the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

While the most apparent human and environmental damage occurred, and continues to occur, in the Ukraine, Belarus and European Russia, more than 50 percent of the total radioactivity spread across the entire northern hemisphere, contaminating some 400 million people.

Based on 5000 articles, by multiple researchers and observers, the authors estimated that by 2004, some 985,000 deaths worldwide had been caused by the disaster, giving lie to estimates by the IAEA and World Health Organization.

Of life systems that were studied – humans, voles, livestock, birds, fish, plants, mushrooms, bacteria, viruses, etc., with few exceptions, were changed by radioactive fallout, many irreversibly.

Increased cancer incidence is not the only observed adverse effect from the Chernobyl fallout – noted also are birth defects, pregnancy losses, accelerated aging, brain damage, heart, endocrine, kidney, gastrointestinal and lung diseases, and cataracts among the young.

Children have been most seriously affected – before the radioactive Chernobyl releases, 80% of children were deemed healthy, now in some areas, only 20% of children are considered healthy. Many have poor development, learning disabilities, and endocrine abnormalities.

Why should we read this book? Because there are plans to build new reactors at Lake Anna in VA, and Calvert Cliffs in MD, and the 104 existing power plants are releasing isotopes 24/7 and their infrastructures are deteriorating. It is a matter of time before we have a new catastrophe.

Below is the New York Academy of Sciences site for the book:

The listed price is $150. but my colleagues have negotiated a price of $40/ copy. We can supply this book to you. Please see contact information below.

Janette D. Sherman, MD is a physician and toxicologist in Alexandria, VA. She has done research and published scientific data about chemicals and nuclear radiation that cause cancer and birth defects. Her web site is: and e-mail is:


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