Nuclear risks: when will the monopoly of international experts end? In December 2020, twenty years after the final closure of the plant, the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine announced its intention to prepare the application for the inclusion of certain objects in the exclusion zone around Chernobyl on the list of Unesco World Heritage. The ministry planned to submit its request in the spring of 2021, a way to mark the 35th anniversary of the crash, on April 26. This project would make it possible to set up a system to preserve the site, but above all to highlight its universal historical importance. The Chernobyl site would symbolize the long history of the accidents that marked the age of the atom, from Kyshtym to Windscale (1957) and from Three Mile Island (1979) to Fukushima (2011), whose tenth anniversary this year. What is more, the Chernobyl accident marks a particular moment in this history, namely the beginning of the institutionalization of the international management of the consequences of nuclear accidents, the influence of which was fully appreciated at the time of the accident. from Fukushima. While the origins of accidents are most often explained by factors linked to the development of the nuclear industry and its regulatory bodies at the national level, the “management” of their consequences gradually transcends national borders. As such, the Chernobyl accident will sanction the monopolization of the authority of knowledge on ionizing radiation by a restricted set of organizations – the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the International Commission on Radiation Protection (ICRP) and the United Nations Scientific Committee for the Study of the Effects of Ionizing Radiation (UNSCEAR). Through a set of alliances and co-options, these organizations form a monolithic whole on radiological risk.
The Conversation 23rd April 2021 read more »