Summary of The Long-Run Consequences of Chernobyl

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While it may not be as bad as developing cancer as the result of a nuclear meltdown, spending years worrying about radiation exposure can take a psychological and economic toll on a nation’s people. In this intriguing study, economists Alexander M. Danzer and Natalia Danzer find that the mental health effects lingering decades after the Chernobyl accident are the unanticipated fallout from the world’s biggest nuclear disaster. Their extensively documented report, with its detailed statistics and charts, draws lessons for governments about the human and financial costs of dealing with a massive catastrophe. getAbstract recommends this original work to public health officials, policy makers and economists.

About the Authors

Alexander M. Danzer is an assistant professor at the University of Munich. Natalia Danzer is the deputy director of the Ifo Center for Labor Market Research and Family Economics.



The Chernobyl meltdown of April 1986 remains the largest and costliest nuclear disaster to date. Ukraine has spent $148 billion, or 5% to 7% of its annual GDP, on accident remediation. Clean-up workers, first responders and those living closest to the site have borne the brunt of Chernobyl’s physical and psychological effects, with suicide rates greater than the general population. Children exposed directly to radiation experienced a higher level of thyroid cancer. But other physical maladies – such as the expected higher incidences of leukemia...

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