Chornobyl Center

Partner 11: Chornobyl Centre, International Radioecology Laboratory, (IRL), Ukraine

The Chornobyl Center has as a mission to create and implement new knowledge and advanced technologies, provide expert engineering, scientific and technical services in the area of nuclear energy ensuring nuclear and power facilities operate safely at all stages of their life cycle for the benefit of the Ukrainian people and Slavutych. 

In July 1998, Ukraine and USA signed an agreement on establishing the International Radioecology Laboratory (IRL). Since the IRL started its operation, the Chornobyl Center expanded its area of expertise and started rendering services in the area of radioecology and radiobiology, conducting research with its Ukrainian and foreign colleagues within the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone. The Projects Monitoring Center (PMC) was established in August 2000 as a Chornobyl Center‟s division in the area of nuclear safety, radioactive waste, and radioecology. In February 2002, two years after the Chornobyl NPP closure, the headquarters of the Chornobyl Center was transferred from Kyiv to Slavutych. Today the Chornobyl Center employs approximately 61 people. 68.8% are MD; 9.8% are Ph.D. and 29.5% are young people under 30 providing a range of expertise available for COMET and many areas of Radioecology research and Emergency response.

The Chornobyl Center has important technical capabilities. It has the database on the Chornobyl catastrophe consequences  which was developed under the French-German Initiative (FGI) for Chornobyl covering the following three topic areas: “Sarcophagus Safety”, “Radioecological consequences of the Chornobyl accident and the 'Health consequences of the Chornobyl accident” of which the latter two are of particular  interest to COMET. The IRL's unique technical base enables to conduct radioecological and radiobiological studies, in particular within the Chornobyl Exclusion zone. The IRL makes use of mobile spectrometry laboratory to carry out research activities within the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone and automatic photo cameras are used to photograph wild animals. There is a lab base within the Chernobyl exclusion zone. IRL's major contribution to COMET is collaboration with the field studies established under workpackage 4 and contribution identification of robust dynamic parameter values for workpackage 3. The staff  will be actively involved in the organization of workshops under workpackage 5 and some field training. They will also be involved in workpackage 2, partially to add institute information to the different data bases (Infrastructure, models, involvement in projects, .. ) that were developed during the STAR project. Staff members contributing to COMET:

Mikhail Bondarkov - Highest degree of PhD in nuclear physics with a rich experience in radioecology.

Sergey Gashchack - PhD. Deputy Director, International Radioecology Laboratory, Chernobyl Center for Nuclear Safety, Radioactive Waste and Radioecology. PhD in Radiobiology and Radioecology of Agricultural Animals. Collaborated in last 5 years in several international research projects: e.g. (1) Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (USA), University of Liverpool (UK) projects on Population genetic, radiobiology, radioecology. Scientific & technical assistance, responsible executor; (2) Set of projects in framework of the agreement between IRSN (France) and IRL on assessment of consequences of the Chernobyl accident in biological systems on the contaminated territories.

Andrey Maksimenko - Head of department for spectrometric and radiochemical measurements. High-qualified specialist with long-term experience, responsible for the quality of the radionuclide assays. He organises yearly training courses at the Chornobyl Center for foreign specialists, workshops on nuclear safety and radiation protection. He is our key specialist. In his team there are several assistants with high education, who perform spectrometric and radiochemical analysis.

Renata Maksimenko - Ph.D. Biologist. She is a leading researcher. Cytology, histology, biochemistry – are in her field of her expertise. She is now head of a special lab (recently established) for the biochemical, immunological and haematological assays for people for the local hospital.

Yulya Maklyuk Ph.D. Biologist. Experience with field studies in Chernobyl (small mammals, contamination, effects, cytology). Participates in organisation of training courses.

Igor Chizhevsky Ph.D. Radioecologist with experience in radioecology of agricultural animals, countermeasures, etc. Good knowledge of Chernobyl zone. Regularly participates in field studies