Skip to content


Wildlife thriving around Chernobyl nuclear plant despite radiation via The Guardian

High numbers of elk, deer, boar and wolves show long-term effect of world’s worst nuclear accident is less damaging than everyday human activity, say scientists

[…]

The explosion of reactor four on 26 April 1986 killed dozens of plant staff and rescue workers, and led to high radiation doses in the first weeks and months that had significant effects on animal health and reproduction around Chernobyl.

But after analysing previously unpublished animal track records and aerial surveys from Belarusian authorities and scientists, the authors of the study, which was published in the journal Current Biology, found no long-term impact to population numbers from the radiation released by the accident.

“Chernobyl caused a lot of human damage. The social and economical problems were huge. If you set that aside – if you can set that aside – it’s hard to argue that it’s really damaged the ecosystem as a whole,” said Smith.

The number of animals was probably lower before the nuclear accident than now, because the area was relatively developed, with industry, agriculture and hunting. While it was possible that radiation still had some negative effects on animals it was not enough to affect their populations, Smith said.

But Anders Pape Møller of the University of Paris-Sud questioned why the data had gone unpublished for decades and argued the rebound in populations was simply a sign of wildlife doing better across Europe.

[…]

Møller, who has researched the region since 1991 and published papers on the negative impact of radiation on insects and birds at Chernobyl, said there was no reason to expect differences between different types of animals.

The researchers analysed a 2,165 sq km (836 sq miles) area of the exclusion zone in Belarus, known as Polesie State Radioecological Reserve (PSRER), looking at data since 1986 on the abundance of elk, roe deer, red deer and wild boar. Species that have been sighted or reintroduced to the area since the accident but were not found there previously, such as European bison and lynx, were not included.

Read more at Wildlife thriving around Chernobyl nuclear plant despite radiation

Posted in *English.

Tagged with , , , .


One Response

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. yukimiyamotodepaul says

    The title is misleading.



Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.