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Animals and Radiation

Animals are particularly susceptible to radiation exposure. New studies around the Chornobyl reactor accident site have found reduced numbers of certain species and impacts to genetics.

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Tuesday
Aug032010

Boar still radioactive in Germany from Chernobyl explosion.

As Germany's wild boar population has skyrocketed in recent years, so too has the number of animals contaminated by radioactivity left over from the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown. Government payments compensating hunters for lost income due to radioactive boar have quadrupled since 2007. Der Spiegel has the story.

Tuesday
Jul142009

Animal populations waning around Chernobyl accident site

Animal populations around the Chernobyl reactor accident site are diminishing, not flourishing, according to a new study. The investigation, the first of its kind, found that many species were significantly fewer in number since the 1986 reactor explosion, contradicting earlier assertions that animal populations were expanding in the absence of human populations in the region. The first published study to focus on the abundance of animal populations within the 36-mile diameter “dead zone” contradicts some earlier science-light research largely promoted by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that suggested wildlife populations were dramatically rebounding and that the radioactive abandoned landscape is actually a “nature reserve” for wolves, bison and bears. The more recent study by Moller and Mousseau published findings that the radioactive fallout has significantly depleted biological species including birds and insects. Moller and Mousseau also found “a high incidence” of deformed animal species.

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