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Knowledge of population in a selected region about the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant accident consequences

By Marek PRAŽÁK

Abstract

The Chernobyl nuclear disaster of April 26, 1986 is the worst nuclear accident in the history of mankind. An experiment conducted in the 4th reactor resulted in its explosion and a huge amount of radionuclides escaped into the environment in the course of the subsequent fire. The greater part of Europe was contaminated by radioactive fallout, including the former Czechoslovak Socialist Republic. From a health point of view, the most harmful radioactive substances causing radioactive contamination were caesium 137Cs and iodine 131I. The then government did not provide objective and true information to the citizens and the media depicted the disaster as an insignificant incident. I set the following goals of my thesis: a) to develop an overview of immediate and especially long-term consequences of the accident; b) to analyse the knowledge of the population of the South Bohemian Region of the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster depending on the age of respondents. For fulfilling the set goals, I set myself the following hypotheses: H1) the theoretical division of the population's knowledge will be normal; H2) the knowledge of persons over 45 years of age will statistically be significantly higher than that of younger people. I handled the given theme using available specialized literature, Internet sources and publications published by relevant institutions. In the introductory part I describe the construction of the power plant, basic technical parameters of the reactor used and the course and causes of the actual accident. The next section is focused on the consequences of the accident in individual time periods immediately, after 10 years and after 20 years. I devote myself both to influences on human lives and health and to environmental, social, economic and psychological consequences. Furthermore,I describe the situation in former Czechoslovakia and the way of informing the population by the then government. The last section of the theoretical part is dedicated to the present situation in the Chernobyl region and at the power plant itself. While compiling the research part of the thesis, I gathered data among the inhabitants of the South Bohemian Region through questionnaire investigation. I addressed a total of 280 respondents, of which 140 were under 45 years of age and 140 were over 45 years of age. The questionnaire contained 15 questions concerning basic, not professional knowledge in this area. For the purposes of my questionnaire investigation, I divided the South Bohemian Region into districts. The selection of individual towns within the framework of the questionnaire investigation was carried out at random, by drawing lots. 280 questionnaires were completed in all, of which 140 questionnaires were completed by respondents under 45 and 140 questionnaires were completed by respondents over 45. By drawing lots, I selected 100 questionnaires out of these completed questionnaires, each age group being included. The test of the set hypotheses and statistical evaluation are carried out using descriptive and mathematical statistics. I carried out statistical evaluation by testing normality, using X2-good agreement test. I mutually compared the knowledge of the groups monitored by testing using a two-sample t-test, based on the estimate of empirical parameters from each group. Based on statistical investigation I came to the conclusion that the division of the population's theoretical knowledge was normal, which confirms the first hypothesis. The results of the investigation also unambiguously confirmed the fact that the knowledge of the population over 45 years of age was statistically significantly higher than the knowledge of the younger group of respondents. As far as total evaluation is concerned, the average value of correct answers in case of the older group of respondents reached 71%, while the younger group showed just 44% of correct answers, which confirms the second se hypothesis

Topics: Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and informing the population.; černobylská havárie; následky radiační havárie; caesium; informovanost obyvatelstva.; kontaminace ČSSR; contamination; cesium; Chernobyl disaster; consequences of the radiation accident; Černobyl; Chernobyl
Year: 2016
OAI identifier: oai:invenio.nusl.cz:253479
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