Nairobi, 26 April 2006 - Twenty years ago, in the night from 25 to 26 April 1986, the world's largest ever nuclear accident occured at the Chernobyl nuclear power station in what is today Ukraine. The effects of the accident continue to affect the lives of people in Ukraine, neighbouring Belarus and Russia, and across the northern hemisphere.
UNEP is associated with the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), based in Vienna, Austria, which is working to provide better understanding of the impact of the radiological consequences of the Chernobyl accident. The Committee also participates in the work of the Chernobyl Forum, launched to review radiation-induced health effects from the accident and to contribute to the United Nations strategy for recovery .
UNSCEAR assesses global and regional exposures to ionizing radiation from nuclear power production, military, industrial and research activities, accidents, natural radiation, and medical diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. It also reviews advances in scientific understanding of the mechanisms by which radiation-induced health effects can occur. The Committee’s assessments provide the scientific basis for relevant UN agencies to formulate radiation protection standards. 2006 also marks the 50th anniversary of the creation of UNSCEAR.