Российская наука и мир (дайджест) - Апрель 2008 г. (часть 2)
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Апрель
2008 г.
Российская наука и мир
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    Томская область и Региональный совет Лотарингии (Франция) подписали меморандум о сотрудничестве, основными направлениями которого станут инновации, наука и ядерная медицина.

Novossibirsk, 11 avril : Selon le service de presse de la région de Tomsk, l'administration de la région et le Conseil régional de la Lorraine ont signé un mémorandum de la coopération entre les deux régions portant sur les domaines de l'innovation, la médecine nucléaire et la science.
Le mémorandum a été signé lors d'une visite officielle de l'administration de la région de Tomsk dans la région de Lorraine. Selon le gouverneur de la région russe, M. Kresse, la région de Tomsk et la Lorraine ont beaucoup de points en commun, notamment l'innovation, la science et la médecine nucléaire. Par ailleurs, les deux pôles de compétitivité de la région et ses quatre universités sont des sources incontournables de l'expertise scientifique et innovante pour la région de Tomsk.

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    На очередной Генеральной Ассамблее Европейского союза наук о Земле (EGU), открывшейся в Вене 13 апреля, академику Гурию Марчуку присуждена медаль Вильгельма Бьеркнеса за исследования динамики атмосферы.

The European Geosciences Union is set to award prizes to 10 environmental researchers at its General Assembly in Vienna this week.
The winners are:

  • Pierre Morel of the University of Paris, France - Alfred Wegener Medal for outstanding contributions to geophysical fluid dynamics and the application of space observation to meteorology and Earth System science.
  • Guri Marchuk of the Russian Academy of Sciences - Vilhelm Bjerknes Medal for studies of the dynamics of the atmosphere, including introducing numerical methods.
  • Edward DeLong of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US - Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky medal for using molecular tools and a genomic approach to research geomicrobiology and biogeochemical cycling.
  • William Richard Peltier of the University of Toronto, Canada - Milutin Milankovic medal for pioneering work in modelling mantle convection, glacial isostatic adjustment processes and global sea level changes.
  • Dominique Raynaud of CNRS Université Joseph Fourier, France - Hans Oeschger medal for reconstructing atmospheric composition in carbon dioxide and methane over the past 800,000 years from Arctic ice cores.
  • Johannes Oerlemans of Utrecht University, The Netherlands - Louis Agassiz medal for aiding the understanding of the relations between ice masses, climate and sea level fluctuations.
  • Akiva Yaglom, late of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US, who will posthumously receive the Lewis Fry Richardson medal for pioneering work developing statistical theories of turbulence, atmospheric dynamics and diffusion.
    The following researchers will receive outstanding young scientist awards:
  • Alberto Naveira-Garabato of the UK National Oceanography Centre, for research into Southern Ocean mixing and its role in setting the size of the global thermohaline circulation.
  • Rosalind Rickaby of Oxford University, UK, for contributions to the understanding of biogeochemistry of carbonates as recorders of past oceans and climate.
  • Alfonso Saiz-Lopez of NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, US, for research on the atmospheric chemistry of iodine.
    © Institute of Physics IOP Publishing.
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      Российское ядерное ведомство заглушило один из реакторов на атомной станции, расположенной в городе Северске, недалеко от Томска. Объект был построен в 1960-х годах для производства оружейного плутония. С 1993 года основная продукция реакторов лишилась спроса. Но остановить их было нельзя, поскольку станция также служила основным источником тепла и электроэнергии для Томской области. В рамках российско-американской программы сотрудничества по ограничению распространения ядерного оружия станция будет модернизирована, после чего (предположительно в июне) будет отключен и второй реактор.

    MOSCOW - Russia's state nuclear energy corporation is expected to switch off a nuclear reactor on Sunday in a closed city in Siberia. The reactor has been producing weapons-grade plutonium for four decades, a senior American nonproliferation official said Saturday.
    The reactor, ADE-4, is one of two in the city of Seversk that have been extraneous remnants of the Soviet Union's nuclear weapons program since the cold war. For 15 years, they produced plutonium that the Kremlin neither needed nor wanted.
    Opened in secret in the 1960s to feed the arms race, the reactors have continued to operate because of their peculiar construction as defense-industry suppliers.
    The Defense Ministry stopped purchasing plutonium in 1993, rendering the reactors' primary purpose obsolete. But the reactors could not be closed, and plutonium was still produced, because the reactors were also a primary source of heat and power to the bitterly cold regions along the Tomsk River, where no equivalent utility sources had been built.
    Russian energy officials said switching off the bomb-fuel reactors, which are powered by uranium and produce plutonium as a byproduct, would have meant cutting off a large fraction of the utilities for the cities of Seversk and Tomsk. The cities have a combined population of about 600,000.
    "That is obviously critical when you are facing temperatures of 40 below," said William H. Tobey, deputy administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration, a semiautonomous agency in the Department of Energy that coordinates nonproliferation programs.
    Under a cooperative program between the Russians and the Americans, the United States has provided $285 million to underwrite the refurbishment of a coal plant to provide an alternate utility service to the region, Mr. Tobey said.
    The plant has been refurbished enough to switch off the first reactor this week. It is expected to be completed and in full service by June, allowing the second reactor, ADE-5, to be turned off as well.
    Although an agreement on the program was reached in 1997 and work on the coal plant began in 2005, Russia notified the United States of its plans to turn off the reactor only on Friday, two American officials said. It had been expected to close later this year.
    Officials at Rosatom, the Russian state nuclear energy corporation, could not be reached Saturday.
    Mr. Tobey declined to say how much plutonium the reactors had produced, saying that Russia had opposed the public release of data related to its nuclear programs.
    But closing the reactors, he said, would prevent "tons of plutonium" from being produced, he said, enough to make hundreds of nuclear weapons.
    Britain, Canada, the Netherlands and New Zealand have also donated money, about $30 million, to replace Russia's remaining plutonium-producing reactors with fossil-fuel plants, Mr. Tobey said.
    The country's only other plutonium-producing reactor, in Zheleznogorsk, is scheduled to be switched off and replaced with a fossil-fuel plant in 2010.

    © Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company.
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      Использование мобильных телефонов детьми и подростками небезопасно для их здоровья, так как оно может приводить к тяжелым поражениям нервной системы, заявили эксперты Российского национального комитета по защите от неионизирующих излучений, проведя опыты на животных разных возрастов.

    Handsets pose danger for children and teen-agers, state experts of the Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection having carried out experiments with animals of different age. The oncoming generation is recommended to reduce communication through handsets, as their nerves might be badly injured.
    The Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (RNCNIRP) has expressed its opinion regarding the possible influence of handset electromagnetic field on children and teen-ages. The experiments, consultations and discussions held led to the resolution "Children and handsets: future generations' health is under threat". The given resolution comprises opinions of leading Russian scientists in hygiene and radiobiology of Non-Ionizing Radiation. The given resolution is based on modern scientific knowledge and fundamental submission generated in many years of research into the influence of electromagnetic fields on human health.
    Oleg Grigoriev, director of the Center for Electromagnetic Safety and RNCNIRP deputy chairman, told CNews the mentioned above resolution was, in particular, based on the analysis of experiments held on animals of different age, principally rats and their embryos. The experiments proved the influence of electromagnetic radiation on developing organisms was strong. An electromagnetic field is an important biotropic factor that influences not only health but higher nervous activity including human behavior and mentality. When using a handset its electromagnetic field is influencing the user's brain.
    Although Sanitary rules and regulations recommend limiting handset usage by those under 18 (Sanitary norms and regulations 2.1.8/2.2.4.1190-03, item 6.9), children and teen-agers have become the targeted marketing group for the mobile communication market, RNCNIRP experts say. The existing safety standards for handsets have been developed for adolescents regardless infant organism peculiarities. Possible threat to human health is very high. One should not forget the electromagnetic field influences formation of higher nervous activity, while electromagnetic absorption in the head of a child is much higher as compared to adolescents (children's cerebral tissue is of higher conductivity, the head size is smaller, cranial bones are thinner, etc.). The children's organism is more sensitive to electromagnetic fields than that of adolescents; the children's brain has the peculiar propensity to accumulation of adverse reactions in case of re-irradiation.
    Specialists assert modern children are using handsets since early age and continue using them having grown, so the period of contact with electromagnetic radiation is longer as compared to adolescents. According to RNCNIRP specialists, children using handsets are prone to the following disorders: weakening memory, decline of attention, reduction of mental and cognitive capacity, irritation, sleep violation, increasing epileptic possibility. The other possible far-standing consequences are brain, auditory and vestibular nerve tumor (at the age of 25-30), Alzheimer's disease, "acquired dementia", depressive syndrome and other forms of neuronal degeneration of brain structures (at the age of 50-60). According to Oleg Grigoriev, the given forecasts are based on the data analysis received and long scientific debates.
    "Children using handsets are not able to understand that their brain and health are exposed to the electromagnetic field and risk, respectively, - the committee report reads. - The given risk is not inferior to the influence of tobacco and alcohol. Our duty is not to damage children's health - our future - doing nothing".
    RNCNIRP has already sent its resolution to Gennady Onishenko, chief sanitary doctor of Russia, requesting him to introduce a warning system about the electromagnetic threat to the children's health when using handsets. "The simplest solution is to put brochures telling about the mentioned above problems into boxes with handsets, - believes Oleg Grigoriev. - Such practices are wide spread in Great Britain, for example. Parents should be informed about the influence of the electromagnetic field on their children's health. One can also tell his child about the dangers related to handsets".
    Oleg Grigoriev reports till the end of May 2008 RNCNIRP intends to work out certain recommendations for handset usage by children and teen-ages under 18. "The first recommendation is to limit children's communication through handsets but for cases of emergency", - says Mr. Grigoriev. He recollects the main recommendations for adolescents: not to talk more than 15 minutes on the handset, the ratio of the length of talk to resting before the next talk should be 1:5, which means having talked for one minute, one has to abstain from further calls for five minutes; when sleeping the handset should be 1 meter away from your head, or switched off, Bluetooth should be used.

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      Мэр Чапаевска (Самарская область) предложил радикальное решение экологических проблем города. Многие годы на местных фабриках производилось химическое оружие, и теперь воздух и почва города загрязнены настолько, что напрашивается решение просто оставить город, эвакуировав жителей. Например, уровень диоксина в местной почве достигает отметок, зафиксированных в районах Вьетнама, которые во время войны подверглись воздействию так называемого "оранжевого агента".

    Harsh winters, polluted air, crumbling apartment blocks - the residents of many Russian towns might feel that they have cause for complaint. But in Chapayevsk, a town of about 70,000 inhabitants in European Russia, the mayor himself has suggested a novel way of solving the town's problems - abandon it. You can hardly blame him - 96 per cent of all children there are deemed unhealthy.
    Chapayevsk, close to the Volga river and the city of Samara, is home to factories that produced chemical weapons for many years, and is blighted by air and soil pollution. According to the newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta, at a round table meeting on the environment in Samara this week, the town's mayor, Nikolai Malakhov, said that resettling the town's residents would be an "ideal solution" to Chapayevsk's problems.
    The town was founded about a century ago and was named Chapayevsk in 1929, after the Bolshevik Civil War hero Vasily Chapayev. It was the site of a chemical weapons factory that churned out mustard gas and other deadly weapons in industrial quantities. The factory also made conventional bombs and mines. According to factory veterans, chemical warheads were made by pouring mustard gas solution from a teapot into the bombs, with the toxic chemicals frequently spilling over into factory drains. Over time the city's water became contaminated with dioxins and other poisons. Today the factory produces herbicides, not chemical weapons, but the pollution in the air and the ground is there to stay.
    A study undertaken by American scientists in 2005 found that not only was the air in Chapayevsk contaminated with dioxins, but also locally produced fruit and vegetables, as well as the meat from locally farmed animals. The more local produce that people ate, the more likely they were to get ill. The scientists found dioxin levels in the ground as high as in those parts of Vietnam sprayed with the infamous Agent Orange during the US campaign there. According to Nezavisimaya Gazeta, the fatality rates from throat, liver and kidney cancer in Chapayevsk are three times higher than in nearby cities. The American study found a whole range of sexual abnormalities in Chapayevsk boys, who typically have a late start to puberty.
    With the factories no longer providing work, the town also has a high level of unemployment, and one of the highest levels of heroin use in the country, which is contributing to the start of an HIV epidemic. So the mayor's plan sounds like a good one. But a spokesperson at the local parliament denied that there was any serious talk of relocating the town's inhabitants.
    Some experts believe that abandoning the town might be the most economically viable option, however. "For 100 years, factories in Chapayevsk have been producing weapons, powders and chemical components," Oleg Mitvol, deputy head of Russia's official environmental watchdog, told a Russian agency. "There are several cities like this in Russia. But we can spend 50m roubles (£1m) on recultivating the stream that runs through the village that has been contaminated, and nothing will improve. To do it right, we'd have to dig a new channel, redirect the stream there, and remove all the soil. Can you imagine how much that would cost? The only sensible way to solve this problem is with resettlement."
    But despite all the problems, a representative of the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring, said that Chapayevsk was far from being among the worst Russian cities. "It had an air pollution index of 7.8 in 2007," said a spokesperson. "To be in the league of the dirtiest towns in Russia, it should be 14."
    The most famous case of abandonment is Pripyat, now in Ukraine, a town of 50,000 that was evacuated in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

    © independent.co.uk.
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      Российский ученый Олег Шумилов из Института проблем промышленной экологии Севера полагает, что на количество самоубийств может влиять активность магнитного поля Земли. Выводы были сделаны на основании анализа данных о геомагнитной активности за вторую половину XX века и статистики самоубийств в городе Кировске Мурманской области. Всплески геомагнитной активности наблюдаются трижды в год - в эти же периоды отмечено наибольшее количество случаев суицида.

    A Russian scientist has looked in to a possible link between geomagnetism and human health, suggesting their may be a relation to the number of suicides during certain seasonal peaks in the Earth's geomagnetic field.
    Oleg Shumilov of the Institute of North Industrial Ecology Problems in Russia believes human beings may be able to sense the Earth's magnetic field just as many animals do.
    Light levels in northern countries are known to influence depression, but Shumilov thinks geomagnetism may be another factor that requires more consideration.
    Shumilov studied activity in the Earth's geomagnetic field from 1948 to 1997 and found that it grouped into three seasonal peaks every year - these geomagnetism peaks mirrored peaks in suicide rates over the same time period in the city of Kirovsk, located in the far north of Russia.
    Though there is no evidence of a causal link, Shumilov says other studies, such as one published in 2006 over cardiovascular health and disturbances in the geomagnetic field, show that a link could be inferred, particularly in high latitude areas.
    However, he does not believe geomagnetic activity influences everyone equally.
    "Geomagnetic health problems affect 10 to 15% of the population," said Michael Rycroft, who published a study on the topic in Surveys in Geophysics.
    Rycroft said similar results to Shumilov's have been found in independent sets of data, suggesting something may be linking the two factors.
    A review of suicide rates and their relation to magnetic storms in South Africa have also been published in Psychiatric circles.
    High Periods of geomagnetic activity caused by large solar flares, known as geomagnetic storms, have been linked to clinical depression.
    A study published in The British Journal of Psychiatry suggested a 36.2% increase in the number of men admitted into hospital for depression two weeks after geomagnetic storms.
    Rycroft believes the correlation between geomagnetism and suicide justifies more research.
    Kelly Posner, a psychiatrist at Columbia University, is skeptical but says geomagnetic storms can desynchronize circadian rhythms and melatonin production.
    "The circadian regulatory system depends upon repeated environmental cues to synchronize internal clocks," says Posner. "Magnetic fields may be one of these environmental cues."
    She said geomagnetic storms could disrupt body clocks, precipitating seasonal affective disorder and that could perpetuate suicide risk. Shumilov presented his research at the European Geoscience Union annual meeting in Vienna, Austria.
    At the meeting Shumilov showed hospital data from thousands of pregnant women where in 15% of the fetuses, periods of disturbances in their heart rates coincided with periods of high geomagnetic activity.
    "The trouble with studying the causes of suicide is that it is a rare condition. You are bound to get spurious effects. A study of the causes would have to enroll a country's entire population," said Klaus Ebmeier, a psychiatrist at the University of Oxford.
    Psychiatrists say dealing with suicide statistics is a touchy endeavor.
    "Countries report them differently. Catholic countries are very reluctant to diagnose suicide. Scandinavian countries consider it a social injustice not to," said Cosmo Hallstrom, a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

    © 2002-2008 redOrbit.com. All rights reserved.
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      Российско-американская группа ученых обнаружила, что температура воды в озере Байкал постоянно растет, что свидетельствует о серьезных климатических изменениях в Сибирском регионе. С 1946 года средняя температура поверхностных вод Байкала поднялась на 1,21 градуса по Цельсию. В дальнейшем это может погубить уникальную экосистему и само озеро.

    ScienceDaily (May 1, 2008) - Russian and American scientists have discovered that the rising temperature of the world's largest lake, located in frigid Siberia, shows that this region is responding strongly to global warming.
    Drawing on 60 years of long-term studies of Russia's Lake Baikal, Stephanie Hampton, an ecologist and deputy director of the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) in Santa Barbara, Calif., and Marianne Moore, a biologist at Wellesley College in Wellesley, Mass., along with four other scientists, report their results on-line today in the journal Global Change Biology.
    "Warming of this isolated but enormous lake is a clear signal that climate change has affected even the most remote corners of our planet," Hampton said.
    In their paper, the scientists detail the effects of climate change on Lake Baikal - from warming of its vast waters to reorganization of its microscopic food web.
    "The conclusions shown here for this enormous body of freshwater result from careful and repeated sampling over six decades," said Henry Gholz, program director for NCEAS at the National Science Foundation (NSF), which funded the research. "Thanks to the dedication of local scientists, who were also keen observers, coupled with modern synthetic approaches, we can now visualize and appreciate the far-reaching changes occurring in this lake."
    Lake Baikal is the grand dame of lakes. In 1996, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared it a World Heritage site because of its biological diversity. It boasts 2500 plant and animal species, with most, including the freshwater seal, found nowhere else in the world.
    The lake contains 20 percent of the world's freshwater, and it is large enough to hold all the water in the United States' Great Lakes. It is the world's deepest lake as well as its oldest; at 25 million years old, it predates the emergence of humans.
    In more recent times, it was a dedicated group of humans who made this study possible. "Our research relies on a 60-year data set, collected in Lake Baikal by three generations of a single family of Siberian scientists," Moore said. In the 1940s, Mikhail Kozhov began collecting and analyzing water samples in anticipation that this lake could reveal much about how lakes in general function.
    Ultimately, his daughter Olga Kozhova continued the program, followed by her daughter, who is also a co-author of today's paper: Lyubov Izmest'eva.
    The decades-long research effort survived the reign of Stalin, the fall of the Soviet Union, and other social and financial upheavals in the region.
    Data collection continued through every season, in an environment where winter temperatures drop to -50 degrees F.
    The data on Lake Baikal reveal "significant warming of surface waters and long-term changes in the food web of the world's largest, most ancient lake," write the researchers in their paper. "Increases in water temperature (1.21°C since 1946), chlorophyll a (300 percent since 1979), and an influential group of zooplankton grazers (335 percent since 1946) have important implications for nutrient cycling and food web dynamics."
    The scientists conclude that the lake now joins other large lakes, including Superior, Tanganyika and Tahoe, in showing warming trends.
    "But," they note, "temperature changes in Lake Baikal are particularly significant as a signal of long-term regional warming."
    "This lake was expected to be among those most resistant to climate change, due to its tremendous volume and unique water circulation."
    The research paper is the result of a collaboration involving six Siberian and American scientists, who were assisted by student translators from Wellesley College.
    In addition to Hampton and Moore, the paper's contributors are Izmest'eva, director of the Scientific Research Institute of Biology, Irkutsk State University, Irkutsk, Russia; Stephen L. Katz, recently of the Northwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries, Seattle, Wash.; Brian Dennis of the departments of statistics and fish and wildlife resources, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho; and Eugene A. Silow of the Scientific Research Institute of Biology, Irkutsk State University, Irkutsk, Russia.

    Copyright © 1995-2008 ScienceDaily LLC. All rights reserved.
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      Каждый год 26 апреля Европа вспоминает чернобыльскую катастрофу. 22-й год подряд правозащитные и научные неправительственные организации требуют обнародования "истинных итогов" взрыва четвертого блока. На этот раз они намерены - по случаю Генеральной ассамблеи Всемирной организации здравоохранения, которая пройдет с 19 по 24 мая в Женеве - потребовать пересмотра соглашения, подписанного в 1959 году ВОЗ и Международным агентством по атомной энергии (МАГАТЭ), ставшего якобы причиной занижения масштабов последствий трагедии. Согласно этому договору, ВОЗ не может проводить исследования в ядерной сфере без согласования с МАГАТЭ.

    NATIONS UNIES. Des ONG demandent la révision d'un texte paraphé en 1959 entre l'Organisation mondiale de la santé et l'Agence internationale de l'énergie atomique. En cause: l'omerta, selon elles, sur les conséquences de la catastrophe.
    Chaque année, le 26 avril, l'Europe commémore la catastrophe de Tchernobyl. Chaque année depuis vingt-deux ans, ONG, militants et scientifiques s'emparent de l'occasion afin de réclamer le "vrai bilan" de l'explosion du bloc numéro 4 aux confins de l'Ukraine et de la Biélorussie. Cette fois, le collectif "Pour l'indépendance de l'OMS" entend profiter de l'assemblée générale de l'Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS), prévue à Genève du 19 au 24 mai, pour demander la révision d'un accord signé en 1959 avec l'Agence internationale de l'énergie atomique (AIEA), accusé d'être la source d'une sous-évaluation des conséquences de l'explosion et de son nuage - officiellement 56 morts et 4000 cancers de la thyroïde.
    Accord standard
    "Le contrat qui lie ces deux organisations depuis cinquante ans empêche l'OMS de faire des recherches dans le domaine nucléaire sans consulter l'AIEA; or cette dernière est un lobby industriel chargé de faire la promotion de l'atome", dénonce Alison Katz, ex-employée de l'agence onusienne pour la santé, aujourd'hui en tête du combat pour son indépendance.
    Selon elle, cette entente explique que les investigations menées dans les zones touchées par la catastrophe soient empreintes de "manipulations en tout genre": absence de traduction des études indépendantes; recherches menées sur des durées très déterminées afin d'éluder la mortalité à long terme; prise en compte des cancers uniquement, etc.
    "Nous nous appuyons sur Tchernobyl car c'est une immense tragédie, poursuit Alison Katz, mais le problème est évidemment général."
    Pour passer, l'amendement de révision de l'accord de 1959 doit être proposé à l'assemblée générale par deux Etats membres; les pays nordiques seraient, dit-on, "intéressés".
    "Modifier ce texte est hors de propos, défend Maria Neira, directrice du Département santé publique et environnement à l'OMS. C'est un accord standard comme toutes les organisations des Nations unies en signent entre elles (le texte complet de l'accord, en anglais, se trouve sur http://www.letemps.ch). L'OMS peut être accusée de beaucoup de choses, mais certainement pas de minimiser des impacts sur la santé publique. On nous reproche l'inverse en général! Nos travaux se font selon des règles tellement sévères et rigoureuses que cela laisse peu de marge aux approximations."
    A Vienne, le discours est le même: "Il n'y a jamais eu de conflit d'intérêts. L'AIEA n'est pas une agence de promotion de l'atome et l'industrie nucléaire n'a besoin de personne pour faire sa publicité, argue Didier Louvat, responsable du programme de gestion des déchets radioactifs, en charge du dossier Tchernobyl, à l'AIEA. Nous ne relativisons pas la catastrophe du 26 avril 1986, au contraire, nous l'avons classée à 7 sur notre échelle de gravité, le plus haut niveau."
    Bruno Pellaud, ancien directeur adjoint de l'AIEA, reconnaît cependant une ambiguïté dans la mission de l'Agence de Vienne: "L'AIEA a une double casquette, à la fois de vérification et de soutien des activités nucléaires. Je comprends très bien que certains plaident pour une séparation de ces deux fonctions et à mon sens, c'est là qu'est le vrai combat. Les manifestants feraient mieux d'aller à Vienne, plutôt que de rester à Genève!" Depuis avril 2007 en effet, des volontaires se relaient chaque jour devant le siège de l'OMS pour demander la révision du fameux accord. Par groupe de deux ou trois, ces militants de Suisse, de France et d'ailleurs brandissent des pancartes accusant l'organisation de non-assistance à personnes en danger.
    Rapports de force
    Entre l'angélisme et la théorie du complot, sans doute existe-t-il un milieu à trouver. "Plus que d'empêcher la divulgation d'informations, le texte de 1959 bride peut-être la conduite de nouvelles recherches, soulève Galia Ackerman, auteure de Tchernobyl, retour sur un désastre (Editions Folio). Le nucléaire apparaît comme un palliatif à court terme face au pétrole et au gaz. Nombre de gouvernements ont un intérêt à sa promotion, notamment la France, qui veut construire des centrales dans le tiers-monde. De même, plus le nucléaire se développe, plus l'AIEA assoit sa puissance."
    "Les pays utilisant l'énergie nucléaire à des fins civiles ne veulent pas effrayer leur population, poursuit Victor-Yves Ghebali, spécialiste des Nations unies. Or, les organisations internationales sont composées d'Etats membres et financées par eux. Elles sont les créatures des gouvernements." Tout, dès lors, résulte de rapports de force.

      "La Chine, l'Afrique, les Etats-Unis touchés"
      Alexeï Yablokov, auteur d'un ouvrage-compilation sur Tchernobyl, était mercredi à Genève
      • Caroline Stevan

      Интервью швейцарской газеты Le Temps с профессором Алексеем Яблоковым, президентом Центра экологической политики России.

    Pendant des années, trois scientifiques ont collecté quelque 5000 études sur les suites de l'explosion du 26 avril 1986. Tchernobyl, Conséquences de la catastrophe pour l'homme et la nature a été publié en Russie l'année passée, sous la direction du biologiste Alexeï Yablokov.
    Le Temps: Le bilan de la catastrophe de Tchernobyl varie, selon les études, de quelques milliers de morts à plus d'un million. Comment expliquez -vous cela?
    Alexeï Yablokov: Certains travaux portent sur quelques années, d'autres prétendent tirer un bilan définitif. Certains ne prennent en compte que la Russie, l'Ukraine et la Biélorussie, d'autres le monde entier. Et puis, surtout, il y a un camouflage et une altération consciente des faits de la part des Nations unies. Dès que les études ont une portée internationale, elles sont marginalisées à cause de l'accord OMS-AIEA.
    - Avez-vous vous-même subi une censure?
    - Pas directement, mais une ignorance.
    - Le véritable bilan de la catastrophe serait donc beaucoup plus élevé que celui des Nations unies?
    - Evidemment, même s'il est difficile de donner un chiffre précis faute de moyens pour mener certaines enquêtes. On ne parle jamais, par exemple, des conséquences de Tchernobyl en Chine, en Afrique ou aux Etats-Unis. Du lait polonais et des aliments contaminés ont été livrés dans ces pays juste après la catastrophe!

      L'impossible décompte des victimes
      • Caroline Stevan

    Au-delà du clivage pro ou anti-nucléaire, nombre d'acteurs ont des intérêts divergents quant à l'ampleur révélée du drame de Tchernobyl. Les pays les plus directement touchés (Ukraine, Biélorussie, Russie) doivent jouer entre ne pas minimiser - ce qui leur vaudrait une diminution de l'aide internationale - et ne pas dramatiser - ce qui condamnerait l'agriculture locale et les obligerait à de nouvelles évacuations et indemnisations, leurs budgets nationaux étant déjà largement plombés par la gestion de la catastrophe. Si l'irradiation par petites doses, notamment via la chaîne alimentaire, était reconnue, les populations européennes survolées par le nuage pourraient elles aussi revendiquer des dédommagements.
    Des facteurs plus objectifs s'ajoutent aux luttes d'influences politiques entravant la publication d'un bilan définitif. L'Union soviétique a longtemps bloqué l'accès aux renseignements liés à l'explosion. Un certain nombre de maladies n'étaient pas répertoriées avant 1986. Alcoolisme, mauvaise alimentation et absence de soins concourent aussi à l'établissement d'un taux de mortalité élevé dans la zone de la centrale. Mais ces données semblent largement insuffisantes pour expliquer des variations pouvant aller jusqu'à un million de morts.

    © Le Temps, 2008 . Droits de reproduction et de diffusion réservés.
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