Radiation levels around the old Chornobyl nuclear power plant are up to three times higher than previous estimates by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Greenpeace reports.
An international team of radiation experts, led by the environmental organization, is conducting research in places where Russian soldiers were stationed.
At the start of the war in Ukraine, the power station was occupied for weeks by the Russian army, which had dug trenches there. The IAEA said in April, after the Russian military had left that radiation levels were elevated but did not threaten humans.
The Greenpeace investigation was conducted with the consent and cooperation of the Ukrainian authorities. This happened in the so-called exclusion zone, the area within a radius of 30 kilometres around the site of the Chornobyl nuclear disaster in 1986. According to Greenpeace, limited research could be done because the majority of mines have not been mapped or cleared. The findings were presented in Kyiv.
According to Greenpeace, it is clear that military personnel were working in a highly radioactive environment, while the IAEA would claim otherwise. “We can only conclude that, for some reason, the IAEA has decided not to bother with a full investigation.
However, our investigation clearly shows that there is nothing normal about the radiation levels, despite what the IAEA would have the world believe, said a Greenpeace researcher.