More biodiversity at Chernobyl

Aug 12, 2005

Nineteen years after the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear plant, researchers say the surrounding land in Ukraine has more biodiversity.

Some 100 species on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List of threatened species, as well as bear and wolf, have been found in the evacuated zone, says Viktor Dolin, of the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences in Kiev, reported the Moscow News Thursday.

There are a lot of mutations in species but they get weeded out and many young fish living in the reactor's cooling ponds are deformed. But adults tend to be healthy, implying that those harmed by radiation die young, said James Morris of the University of South Carolina.

However, with some 40 different radioactive elements -- including strontium-90 and decay products of uranium and plutonium -- released into the exclusion zone, it will be many hundreds of millennia before humans could live in the area again, said Dolin.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Image: Striking lightning from space

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study finds tropical fish moving into temperate waters

Dec 19, 2014

Tropical herbivorous fish are beginning to expand their range into temperate waters – likely as a result of climate change – and a new international study documents the dramatic impact of the intrusion ...

Trade winds ventilate the tropical oceans

Dec 19, 2014

Long-term observations indicate that the oxygen minimum zones in the tropical oceans have expanded in recent decades. The reason is still unknown. Now scientists at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research ...

Recommended for you

Image: Striking lightning from space

2 hours ago

Lightning illuminates the area it strikes on Earth but the flash can be seen from space, too. This image was taken from 400 km above Earth in 2012 by an astronaut on the International Space Station travelling ...

Are asteroids the future of planetary science?

2 hours ago

I don't think I ever learned one of those little rhymes – My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas – to memorize the order of the planets, but if I had, it would've painted for me a minimalist ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.