Experience with Stakeholders Engagement in Post-Accident Situations


Oral Presentation at the International Workshop on Radiation and Thyroid Cancer, Tokyo, Japan, 21-23 February 2014


The ETHOS project (1996-2001) developed in 5 villages in the Stolyn district of Belarus had shown that the direct engagement of the population in the daily management of the long-term contaminated areas by the Chernobyl accident was a guarantee of efficiency to improve the radiological situation and living conditions of the affected inhabitants. It also showed that this engagement should be based on the development and dissemination of a practical radiation protection culture among the general population of all ages based on three pillars:

  • The establishment of a radiation monitoring system that allows people to assess for themselves the radiological situation in the territory in which they live in order to regain control of this situation.
  • The development, through the educational system, of a strategy of intergenerational transmission of this practical radiation protection culture.
  • The implementation of a reinforced health surveillance and health care system responding to the precautionary principle in order to detect and treat diseases and health conditions that may develop in a context of chronic exposure to radioactivity and high disturbance of the living conditions induced by the presence of contamination.

Following this experience feedback, two projects were implemented in the Belarus districts of Bragin and Chechersk under the CORE International Programme between 2003 and 2009 with the specific objectives to develop the practical radiation protection culture and to improve health especially among children.

After recalling the general approach of involving stakeholders in the context of contaminated territories the paper presents the main lessons from the Bragin and Tcherchersk projects. In conclusion the conditions and means to implement an effective integrated and participatory approach of the medical surveillance of people living in long-term contaminated areas are recalled.


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