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Soviet scientists to study Japanese radiation treatment

By DAVID R. SCHWEISBERG

TOKYO -- A team of Soviet scientists seeking to learn more about treating radiation exposure after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster visits Japan next week for talks with radiation experts, officials said today.

The planned 10-day trip begins Monday in the southern city of Hiroshima, site of the world's first atomic attack and home to several leading research institutions on the effects of radiation exposure.

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A Japanese Foreign Ministry official said the Soviets would also meet with scientists in Osaka and Tokyo, but their schedule was still incomplete.

'They want to discuss treatment of individuals accidentally exposed to radiation,' said Dr. Charles Edington, vice-chairman of Hiroshima's Radiation Effects Research Foundation, in a telephone interview.

'They're really concerned about early treatment,' he said. 'But we've not had much indication in advance of the specifics.'

Officials said the trip was an outgrowth of Soviet concern over the large number of casualties in the accident last April at the nuclear reactor complex in Chernobyl, 600 miles southwest of Moscow.

The reactor accident touched off explosions that unleashed clouds of lethal radiation, causing at least 31 deaths and hundreds of injuries.

The Soviet government is also just coming to grips with the massive task of monitoring many of the victims for decades, along with keeping tabs on thousands of others exposed at lower levels, for possible long-term effects.

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Spokesmen for the Hiroshima city office identified the delegation leader as Andrei Vorobjev, 58, a blood specialist and professor at the Soviet Insurance Ministry's Central Laboratory.

The others are Pavel Ramzaev, 57, director of the Insurance Ministry's Radiology Laboratory; Anatoli Tsyb, 52, director of the Soviet Academy of Medicine's Radiology Laboratory; and Evgeni Gogin, 60, an internist at the Burdenko Military Hospital.

In Hiroshima, officials said, the group will visit the Radiation Effects Research Foundation, a joint U.S.-Japanese organization studying long-term radiation effects, the Hiroshima atomic bomb victims' hospital and Hiroshima University's department of radiobiology and nuclear medicine.

Since the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing that leveled the city, Hiroshima has become a world center for study of radiation exposure. The Red Cross hospital has treated 30,000 people for radiation-related illnesses since it was founded three decades ago.

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