Animals are affected by the operation of nuclear power -- but are the most ignored of all the nuclear industry's victims. Whether sucked into reactor intake systems, or pulverized at the discharge, aquatic animals and their habitats are routinely harmed and destroyed by the routine operation of reactors. In addition, animals are forced to remain in highly radioactive areas after a nuclear disaster, such as around Chernobyl and Fukushima. Some of our latest stories about animals can be found on our newest platform, Beyond Nuclear International. And for more about how routine reactor operations harms marine wildlife, see our Licensed to Kill page



Study of Chernobyl insects shows mutations

Artist Cornelia Hesse-Honegger's fascinating study of insect mutations around the Chernobyl zone. She writes: "I am still flabbergasted that biologists in Western Europe did not think it necessary to conduct any studies to find out whether the radioactive fallout from Chernobyl had any effects on nature or on human beings. In 1990 I traveled with a group to Chernobyl to collect leaf bugs and to see there for myself what was going on." What she found profoundly shocked her. The insects had "feelers the shape of sausages; their larvae had divided wings or black growths sticking out of their eyes." See the full study and illustrations. (Pictured left:Tree bug from Slavoutich, Ukraine).


Radioactive rabbit found on Handford nuclear site

A radioactive rabbit was trapped on the Hanford nuclear reservation and later disposed of as radioactive waste after ingesting cesium.  This is not the first time radioactive wildlife has been discovered at Hanford. In fact, humorous columnist, Dave Barry, wrote two memorable columns - first about radioactive ants, flies and gnats at the Hanford site and then a tongue-in-cheek "apology" after criticism in the local press.


Biodiversity declining in zone around Chernobyl reactor explosion

The largest wildlife census of its kind conducted in Chernobyl has revealed that mammals are declining in the exclusion zone surrounding the nuclear power reactor. It was based on almost four years of counting and studying animals there reports the BBC.


This little piggy is radioactive....

While contaminated sheep in Scotland may have - controversially - been taken off the radioactive list the same is not true for the wild pigs of Germany. On the rise in population, and making ever more frequent appearances in German cities, a significant portion of the wild boar population is still too radioactive for human consumption even nearly 25 years after the Chernobyl reactor accident that contaminated them. Der Spiegel has the full story.


Coaster Brook Trout endangered by mining in Michigan's U.P.

The Coaster Brook Trout, once plentiful in Lake Superior, has been diminished to a small population, with one remaining natural breeding ground -- the Salmon Trout River in Marquette County, Michigan. This is downstream of the Kennecot metallic sulfide mining proposal targeting the sacred Ojibwe Eagle Rock site on the Yellow Dog Plains. This mine is but one of many metallic sulfide and/or uranium mines targeting sites across Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps helped lead the nuclear power and uranium mining workshops at the 1st (2008) and 2nd (2009) annual "Protect the Earth" gatherings held at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan. These events were devoted to stopping metallic sulfide and uranium mining throughout Michigan's Upper Peninsula, particularly at the sacred Ojibwe "Eagle Rock" site on the Yellow Dog Plains near Lake Superior. Save the Wild U.P., one of the annual gathering's sponsors, has an excellent map showing the location of this Kennecot "Eagle Project," numerous other metallic sulfide mining proposals, and three known uranium mining proposals. Uranium mining is unprecedented in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, although it has already devastated Ojibwe lands at Elliot Lake, Ontario to the east, as described in the book of Serpent River First Nation testimonials edited by Lorraine Rekmans and Anabel Dwyer, and as depicted in an iconic photo by Robert Del Tredichi showing a wall of uranium tailings, visible behind the trees -- radioactive waste from the Stanrock mill near Elliot Lake, Ontario.

At the June 2010 Midwest Renewable Energy Fair in Wisconsin, Kevin also met with Gabriel Caplett and Teresa Bertossi, editors of Headwaters: Citizen Journalism for the Great Lakes. Along with youth from the Keewenaw Bay Indian Community who had recently been arrested trying to defend Eagle Rock from bulldozers, Gabriel and Teresa gave an emergency presentation at Wisconsin's Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free networking caucus about the imminent mining threat at the sacred site. Hence the urgency of this year's 3rd annual Protect the Earth Great Lakes Community Gathering.

Check out this year's beautiful poster. This year's event will feature Ojibwe environmental justice activist Winona "No Nukes" LaDuke as keynote speaker, and renowned Native American musician Joanne Shenandoah. See the text of the email announcement just sent to Beyond Nuclear here.