On Sunday April 7th I'm leaving for Ukraine with recently retired British
surgeon Maurice Frohn who is also an elder in the United Church of 

On the 11th Maurice and I fly to Budapest.  We'll stay the night there 
and then continue to Kiev Friday.  

The purpose of this trip is to do reconnaissance in the Chernigov 
area, 80 miles north of Kiev not far from the Chernobyl to assess the 
desperate medical needs of the area. We will be examining the 
condition of the  hospitals and talk to the doctors about their 
problems and shortages.  This will help us come to a conclusion 
about how best to assist  with the help of our American and London 

Our letter of invitation came from Dr. V. Pasechnik, Director of 
the Chernigov Centre of Medical Social Rehabilitation of Disabled 
Children.  The tenth anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster is 
being commemorated this month.

Medical supplies are in shockingly poor supply. As a goodwill gift 
we're bringing some medicines and suture material which is very 
unavailable.  This package is valued at nearly $3,000 which I 
was able to obtain it from Compassion Humanitarian Relief in St. Paul, 
Minnesota for $200.  We're getting support from Minnesota-based 
International Medical Mart as well.  

We are also taking cucumber, tomato and bell pepper seed. 
Cucumbers have not grown from indigenous seed since the nuclear 
accident.  Even seed from outside the area becomes unusable after 
2 years of gathering seed.

To further explain our mission, I'm going to add Maurice Frohn's 
personal report at the end of mine.   

We plan to stay in Chernigov about 5 days before driving to 
Western Ukraine.  A chauffeur will drive us 500 mile distance to 
Khust.  We will visit another clinic serving 19 villages for a few 
hours in Rovno and talk to their staff.  

On Friday, April 19th we will arrive in Khust and spend about 
five days with the Sabbatarians.  I spoke to their leadership a 
week ago last Sunday.  They are very anxiously awaiting our coming 
back to visit them.  It's been almost two years since my wife Bev, 
Duane Abler and I visited the Ambassador University project.   

One area that the Sabbatarians want to continue discussing with us 
is their need for literature.  We have put together literature packets 
of what we have so far.  This includes the Good News, the three 
booklets and a few New Beginnings.  In our former association we 
translated the booklets "God's Holy Days" and "Why Were You Born?" 
They also have copies of a number of early Radio Church of God 
Russian booklets of early 60's vintage.  They have used the older 
versions of "What Kind of Faith is Required for Salvation" and 
"Which Day is the Sabbath of the New Testament?" in their 
Siberian evangelism.  They established a church in Siberia as direct 
result of reproducing the aforementioned booklets.

They do not want us to print booklets for them.  They simply need 
good material translated and made camera-ready for them to print.  
That we can do.  We have access to Russian translators specializing 
in translating religious material.

They would like two kinds of literature:  motivational evangelizing 
material and the instructional variety.  They told me that "Why Were 
You Born?" was an effective evangelizing tool and they would like 
to see more of that kind of reading matter.  They would also like to 
have some instructional type of material along the lines of the 
practical Christian living and articles relating to family, marriage 
and children.

There is a greater interest in the Holy Days since I've spoken about 
them in their churches about them and since our translation of the 
booklet into both Ukrainian and Russian.   

From Khust the Sabbatarians will get us across the border to Hungary 
where we will take the train to Budapest and fly back to London on 
April 25th.

Report by Maurice Frohn:

Sb: The Chernobyl Reconnaissance
Fm: MAURICE FROHN [101557,1462]

It is one decade since the Chernobyl disaster.  The nuclear power 
plant lies in the flat woodlands of the Ukraine close to the border 
of Belorussia.  The reactor fuel was rods of uranium dioxide moderated 
with graphite and water cooling circuits raised steam to the turbines. 

The engineers were testing the ability of the generator, while 
freewheeling, to power the cooling pumps after its steam supply had 
been cut off, as might happen during a power failure.

The test on Unit 4 started at 0100 hours on 25th April.  At 0123, 40 on 
the 26th April the reactor became super prompt critical.   At 0123, 48 
a steam explosion dislodged the 1000 ton steel and concrete cover 
plate, three seconds later the reactor exploded and ejected molten fuel.   
The exposed graphite caught fire releasing radionuclides into the 
atmosphere for ten days covering the whole of Europe to a wide range 
of radionuclides irregularly distributed by the rainfall.  At the plant, 
emergency personnel and firefighters received high doses of beta 
and gamma radiation and thermal burns.   21 "liquidators" who received 
doses over 600 rad were dead within 28 days.  The plant workers' town 
Pripyat, one mile away, was evacuated on the 27th April in good order 
within 3 hours with no time to pack.   135,000 people were evacuated 
from a 30 km zone.   Offers of homes, clothes, money and blood revealed 
the common bond of the Soviet people in misfortune. 

Of the many radionuclides distributed by the plume, the most 
dominant were isotopes of iodine, caesium, strontium and 
plutonium, associated with highly radioactive fuel particles and 
dust.  The external exposure to radioactivity in most of Europe was 
less than would be experienced by a London-Spain jet return flight.   
It is the internal exposure which is significant, the highest doses 
being received by children drinking fresh milk from herds grazing 
contaminated pastures. 

Green leaf vegetables, lamb, fruit and rainwater are further sources 
of internal exposure.   The effect of the iodine isotope was short 
having a half life of 8 days but the caesium isotope has a half 
life of 14 years, contamination being greatest where rainfall was 

The Incorporation of isotopes into the food chain remains a source 
of internal exposure but it is expected that the increase of cancers 
in non-Soviet Europe will be barely detectable.

In March 1991 the International Chernobyl Project produced a technical 
report which was subject to limitations of time, the vast area covered, 
some indequate data and a limited number of experts available for the 
study.   However, it was noted that the high level of stress was 
linked to socioeconomic, political and relocation changes rather than 
to radiophobia.

In 1990 the children were generally healthy.   Up to 15% of adults  
required medical care which is similar to non-contaminated areas.   
Growth rates for children were unaffected and there were no thyroid 
biochemical changes.

Immune systems were competent and blood examinations revealed no 
change.   The incidence of cancer was rising before 1986 and there was 
no increase in leukaemia or thyroid cancer associated with the disaster.   
There was no change in the incidence of congenital abnormalities.   
The observation was made that the benefit of evacuating from a 
contaminated area could be marginal compared to the reduced 
longevity as a result of the emotional disturbance and difficulties 
of relocation.

Since 1995 relief agencies and the news media have reported that the 
full effects of the disaster are only now beginning to emerge with 
a sudden increase to hitherto unknown high levels in childhood 
malignancies, especially of the thyroid and leukaemia.   Personal 
communication has revealed that the problem is compounded by the 
prevailing social and economic conditions leading to failure of the 
medical services to provide definitive or palliative care, not 
because of lack of will but because of lack of essential resources.

It is proposed to visit the Ukraine for a reconnaissance of the 
condition of the people, their hospitals and staff.   It is not 
intended to interfere or wallow in tragedy but to estimate the need 
where required and wanted.

Individuals do not have the authority of impressive committees but 
individuals can move and reconnoitre faster and wider and be less 
intrusive and intimidating, without the burden of schedules and 
protocol of committees.

On return it is proposed to inform and mobilise the charitable 
foundations and individuals in the UK and to utilise the resources 
offered in the USA. The Chernobyl disaster has been overshadowed by 
more European wars. This visit will not solve the overwhelming 
problems but it will show the Ukrainian people suffering as a result 
of the world's greatest nuclear accident, that they have not been