Transparency in Chernobyl in Belarus: Wassilij Borisowitsch Nesterenko
Peace Award Winner 2005, Categorie "Public Engagement"
In 1990, the "Radiometer" Scientific Centre for radiation safety was founded. Prof. Nesterenko became its director and left the Institute for Nuclear Energy of his own accord, in order to devote himself to protecting the population from radioactive contamination. Right from the start, the BELRAD Institute built up a community network of the local measuring points for radioactive monitoring of food in the population, alongside the existing radiation monitoring system. Teachers are trained as publicists who measure the levels in people’s food, on the spot.
From the very beginning right up to the present time, Professor Nesterenko has criticised the state’s handling of the consequences of Chernobyl. A consequence of this has been difficulties with the authorities to date, as they make the Institute’s work more difficult. Because of his constant criticism of the policies on Chernobyl, the government has continued to increase the pressure on Professor Nesterenko. The Ministry of Health has attempted to ban BELRAD from measuring radioactive contamination among children and has instructed BELRAD to move to Gomel, without any response.