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Healthcare system efficiency

Scientists will study the anxiety of people living around nuclear power plants


Scientists from the SYRI National Institute are launching a unique research project in May to map the perception of quality of life in terms of selected health characteristics of people living around the two Czech nuclear power plants. In particular, the experts will map the fears and anxieties of people living in the immediate vicinity of the Temelín and Dukovany nuclear power plants.

The researchers have selected 5 towns for the study - namely Náměšt' nad Oslavou, Ivančice, Jaroměřice nad Rokytnou, Protivín and Týn nad Vltavou. These towns are located in the vicinity of nuclear power plants and are comparable in terms of population, age structure, and distance from the NPP.

"We will go to people over 18 with questionnaires. The survey is unique because such a survey has not been conducted in the Czech Republic before and is valuable for assessing the health status of residents near nuclear power plants," said SYRI researcher Anton Drobov, adding that similar surveys are known from, for example, China but with different results. The survey will run from May 2023 to January 2024. The publication of the results is planned for a year from now.

Drobov has already charted what impact the consequences of the Russian-Ukrainian war had on mental health in adolescents. "We found that mental health is highly compromised in crisis situations. Participants in the study from college students were strongly concerned about news of the war. About a third had moderate to severe levels of anxiety and depression. For women, we observed higher levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms, which are risk factors for psychological disorders, with higher frequency of news viewing and social media use," said Drobov, who will compare data from the two studies. Compared to last year's study, the study of the link between fears and anxieties about living around nuclear power plants will offer data from people who have lived under potential stress for a long time.

Drobov, who is leading the research himself, is from Minsk, Belarus. His research focuses on various health characteristics such as HIV/AIDS prevention and the health of migrants and refugees.