OSCE/Ukraine– A software programme for estimating radiation doses in the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone for Ukrainian firefighters engaged in suppressing local wildfires was today handed over to the State Enterprise Chornobyl Spetskombinat by the OSCE.
The software programme accumulates vast volumes of data on radioactive pollution and forest distribution in the 30-km Chornobyl Exclusion Zone. Once information about the time of fire detection, indicators of fire risk, wind speed and precise fire location have been fed into a computer, the programme generates a prognosis for external and internal exposure to radionuclides for each hour of a firefighting operation.
Wildfires pose a serious risk in this trans-boundary area. Since 1993 more than 1,200 fires of varying magnitude have been detected in the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone. This software programme will serve as a useful tool for decision-makers involved in planning fire-fighting activities and will enhance the safety of firefighters.
The software has been prepared as part of the project Assessment of Environmental Risks in the Exclusion Zone along the Ukrainian and Belarusian Borders, which is implemented by the Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities. This project is supported under the Environment and Security Initiative (ENVSEC), a multi-agency programme which addresses environment and security challenges in Eastern Europe, South-East Europe, Central Asia and the South Caucasus.