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Life ExposedBiological Citizens after Chernobyl$
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Adriana Petryna

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691151663

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691151663.001.0001

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Technical Error: Measures of Life and Risk

Technical Error: Measures of Life and Risk

(p.34) Chapter 2 Technical Error: Measures of Life and Risk
Life Exposed

Adriana Petryna

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the sciences, politics, and international cooperations that informed Soviet state responses to the Chernobyl disaster and how they produced an image of control over unpredictable and largely unassessed circumstances of risk. More specifically, it investigates the relationship between individual suffering caused by the Chernobyl accident and the technical measures and scales of expertise used to assess radiation-related biological injury in Ukraine. To this end, the chapter considers the work of international scientific networks in patterning initial Soviet remediation strategies and public health responses. It highlights key aspects of the initial Soviet management of the Chernobyl disaster and shows how ambiguities related to the interpretation of radiation-related physical damage subjected post-Chernobyl state interventions and medical surveillance to a variety of competing scientific and political interests. It also considers the so-called Safe Living Concept regarding radiation dose exposure and Soviet-American bioscientific collaboration report on radioactive fallout.

Keywords:   radiation, Chernobyl disaster, biological injury, Ukraine, public health, medical surveillance, Safe Living Concept, radiation dose exposure, bioscientific collaboration, radioactive fallout

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