You can now find the University's latest news, events and blogs at

Making use of lessons from Chernobyl

An international expert on nuclear disasters and the environment will be speaking at a free event at the University of Portsmouth on Wednesday 6 February.

Professor Jim Smith, Professor in Environmental Physics at the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Professor Jim Smith

Professor Jim Smith

, will be giving a talk entitled “From Chernobyl to Fukushima: predicting the consequences of nuclear accidents”.

The Fukushima disaster was the biggest nuclear incident since the Chernobyl disaster of 1986.

In the wake of the Chernobyl accident, large areas of land became highly contaminated with radioactive caesium, causing long term evacuation of tens of thousands of people and bans on foodstuffs from the affected areas.  Following Fukushima the current situation is similar, though smaller areas of land are affected.

Based on his extensive experience studying the environmental impacts of the Chernobyl accident, Professor Jim Smith will discuss the risks of radiation to human and environmental health.

Dr Rob Strachan, Head of the School of Earth and Environmental Science, said “Jim has gained international success and respect in his field, and his work has been published in leading scientific journals such as Nature. I have no doubt that the talk will be insightful and forward thinking.”

Using research carried out in the years after Chernobyl, Professor Smith will try to predict when people will be able to return to the Fukushima contaminated lands and what will happen to these areas if they remain uninhabited.

Professor Smith has been working in and around Pripyat, the location of the Chernobyl disaster, for over ten years and has gained a substantial reputation in the field.

He is a former member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Expert Group on Chernobyl and is currently Chairman of the UK Coordinating Group on Environmental Radioactivity (COGER).

Date: Wednesday 6 February 2013

Time: 6.00-7.00pm, followed by a drinks reception

Venue: Portland Building, Portland Street, Portsmouth PO1 3AH

Admission is free but by ticket only from

UoP News © 2020 All Rights Reserved