La réhabilitation des conditions de vie dans les territoires contaminés par l'accident de Tchernobyl en Biélorussie

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HERIARD DUBREUIL G., LOCHARD J., LE CARDINAL G., OLLAGNON H. - Une démarche de réhabilitation des conditions de vie dans les territoires contaminés par l’accident de Tchernobyl en Biélorussie : le projet ETHOS.
Ethique, technique et démocratie, Academia Bruylant, 2007, pp. 183-191.

Le projet ETHOS concerne la réhaibilitation des conditions de vue dans les territoires contaminés par l'accident de Tchernobyl. Il s'est déroulé de mars 1996 à novembre 2001 dans le district de Stolyn en Biélorussie. La première partie de cet article propose une description du projet ETHOS, du contexte de cette intervention et de ses principeales étapes. La seconde partie propose un regards pluridisciplinaire sur ce projet sous la forme de quatre témoignages de chercheurs des différentes équipes engagées dans ce projet. Le premier présente les aspects éthiques et méthodologiques du projet ETHOS, le second présente l'un des projets pratiques menés dans le cadre du projet avec les habitants sur la sécurité radiologique des enfants. Le troisième témoignage introduit les processus de reconstruction de la confiance qui ont été mis en œuvre dans le projet ETHOS. Enfin, le quatrième témoignage développe les enjeux agricoles, alimentaires et ruraux associés à une situation de contamination radioactive d'un territoire.


LOCHARD J. - Rehabilitation of Living Conditions in Territories contaminated by the Chernobyl Accident : The ETHOS Project.
Health Physics, Vol. 93, N° 5, 2007, pp. 522-526.

The ETHOS project, supported by the radiation protection research program of the European Commission (EC), was implemented in the mid-1990's with the support of the Belarus authorities as a pilot project to initiate a new approach for the rehabilitation of living conditions in the contaminated territories of the Republic. This initiative followed a series of studies performed in the context of the EC Community of Independent States cooperation program to évaluate the consequences of the Chernobyl accident (1991-1995), which clearly brought to the fore that a salient characteristic of the situation in these territories was the progressive and general loss of control of the population on its daily life. Futhermore, due to the economic difficulties during the years following the breakdown of the USSR, the population was developing private production and, in the absence of knowledge and adequate means to control the radiological quality of foodstuffs, the level of internal exposure was rising significantly. The aim of the project was primarily to involve directly the population wishing to stay in the territories in the day-to-day management of the radiological situation with the goal of improving their protection and their living conditions. It was based on clear ethical principles and implemented by an interdisciplinary team of European experts with specific skills in radiation protection, agronomy, social risk management, communication, and cooperation in complex situations, with the support of local authorities and professionals. In a first phase (1996-1999), the ETHOS Project was implemented in a village located in the Stolyn District in the southern part of Belarus. During this phase, a fews tens of villagers were involved in a step-by-step evaluation of the local radiologicial situation to progressively regain control of their daily life. In a second phase (1999-2001), the ETHOS Project was extended to four other localities of the District with the objective to evaluate the feasibility of the application of the ETHOS approach by local professionals and authorities. The ETHOS experience has shown that the direct involment of the population in te day-to-day management of the radiological situation was a necessary approach to complement the rehabilitation program implemented by public authorities in contaminated territories. It also demonstrated that to be effective and sustainable, this involvement must rely on the dissemination of a “practical radiological protection culture” within all segments of the population, and especially among professionals in charge of public health and education. This paper discusses the post-Chernobyl context in the early-and mid-1990's, which led Belarus authorities to look for new approach to protect the population residing in the long-term contaminated territories of the Republic. It then describes the ETHOS methodology and its main results. It also summarizes the general conclusions that can be drawn from the ETHOS Project.


LOCHARD J. - Stakeholder Engagement in Regaining Decent Living Conditions after Chernobyl
In: Social and Ethical Aspects of Radiation Risk Management, Oughton D., Hansson S.O. (Eds.), Radioactivity in the Environment, Vol. 9, Elsevier, 2013, pp. 311-331

The paper presents an overview of the ETHOS Project, which by several aspects brought a new insight into the long-term rehabilitation strategy after a nuclear accident or a radiological event. Section 17.2 describes briefly the key features of the situation of the population in the contaminated territories of the Community of Independent States (CIS) in the mid-90s that led to the implementation of the Project. Section 17.3 presents a short insight about the methodological and ethical basis of the approach and the two phases of the Projects with their main results. Section 17.4 and 17.5 present respectively the lessons learnt through the project and their impacts on the long-term rehabilitation strategy for contaminated territories.


HERIARD DUBREUIL G., LOCHARD J., GIRARD P., GUYONNET J.F., LE CARDINAL G., LEPICARD S. et al., Chernobyl Post-Accident Management : The ETHOS Project.
Health Physics, Vol. 77, N° 4, 1999, pp. 361-372.

ETHOS is a pilot research project supported by the radiation protection research program of the European Commission (DG XII). The project provides an alternative approach to the rehabilitation of living conditions in the contaminated territories of the CIS in the post-accident context of Chernobyl. Initiated at the beginning of 1996, this 3-y project is currently being implemented in the Republic of Belarus. The ETHOS project involves an interdisciplinary team of European researchers from the following institutions: the Centre d'étude sur l'Évaluation de la Protection dans le domaine Nucléaire CEPN (radiological protection, economics), the Institute National d'Agronomie de Paris-Grignon INAPG (agronomy, nature & life management), the Compiègne University of Technology (technological and industrial safety, social trust), and the Mutdais Research Group (sociology, social risk management), which is in charge of the scientific co-ordination of the project. The Belarussian partners in the ETHOS project include the Ministry of Emergencies of Belarus as well as the various local authorities involved with the implementation site. The ETHOS project relies on a strong involvement of the local population in the rehabilitation process. Its main goal is to create conditions for the inhabitants of the contaminated territories to reconstruct their overall quality of life. This reconstruction deals with all the day-to-day aspects that have been affected or threatened by the contamination. The project aims at creating a dynamic process whereby acceptable living conditions can be rebuilt. Radiological security is developed in the ETHOS project as part of a general improvement in the quality of life. The approach does not dissociate the social and the technical dimensions of post-accident management. This is so as to avoid radiological risk assessment and management being reduced purely to a problem for scientific experts, from which local people are excluded, and to take into consideration the problems of acceptability of decisions and the distrust of the population towards experts. These cannot be solved merely by a better communication strategy. This paper presents the main features of the methodological approach of the ETHOS project. It also explains how it is being implemented in the village of Olmany in the district of Stolyn (Brest region) in Belarus since March 1996, as well as its initial achievements.


LOCHARD J. Stakeholder Involvement in the Rehabilitation of Living Conditions in the Territories affected by the Chernobyl Accident: The ETHOS Project in Belarus.
In: "Restoration of Environments with Radioactive Residues", Proceedings of an IAEA International Symposium, Arlington, VA, USA, 29 November-3 December 1999, IAEA Proceeding Series, IAEA-SM-359/5.2, 2000, pp. 639-653.

The management of the Chernobyl post-accident situation is a complex process comprising not only radiological protection but also psychological, social, economic, political and ethical dimensions. Involving in this process local communities who are directly concerned by the consequences of the accident is a strong level in improving their living conditions as well as restoring their confidence in experts and the authorities. This paper presents the experience of the involvement of a group of mothers from a village of the Republic of Belarus in activites ti improve radiological protection of their children. This experience took place in the framework of the European Commission with the objective of implemting an alternative approach to the rehabilitation strategies adopted so far in the contaminated territories of the CIS. The first part of the paper presents briefly the main features of the methodological and practical approach of the ETHOS project. The second part describes in more detail how the mothers voluntarily got involved in a working group set up in the framework of the project, the characterisation of the radiological situation they carried out, the concrete approach they developed to regain control of the situation, the way the health car system has been involved in the process and finally, the results they achieved in reducing the internal contamination of their children.