Tag: Chernobyl

Fukushima and Chernobyl: Same Level on Disaster Scale; Very Different Disasters

By Valerie Ross | April 14, 2011 9:01 am

What’s the News: Japan raised its assessment of the severely damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to Level 7, “Major Accident,” the highest ranking on the International Atomic Energy Agency’s International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale. The explosion at Chernobyl in 1986 is the only other nuclear accident to be ranked at Level 7. Both accidents were extremely severe, the two largest nuclear power accidents ever—but there are some big, important differences between them.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, Physics & Math, Top Posts

Chernobyl Plants & Temperate Caves Could Help Humans Colonize New Worlds

By Andrew Moseman | March 4, 2011 3:14 pm

Humankind’s experience visiting worlds beyond our own begins and ends with the dozen Apollo astronauts who skipped about on tiny swaths of the moon. But that doesn’t mean we can’t experiment with how and where we might visit (or live) on the extreme surfaces of other worlds. A few studies out recently are doing just that.

Radiation? Big deal

Our planet provides a protective shield from the most damaging radiation produced by the sun—a shield not available on the moon or Mars. It’s a hazard for any human leaving the planet, and it’s a hazard for plants, too.

However, a new study of the Chernobyl area in the Ukraine, site of the famous nuclear accident, is actually raising hopes for space farming.

Even 25 years after the catastrophic nuclear accident at Chernobyl, the area around the site harbors radioactive soil. But researchers working there have found that oil-rich flax plants can adapt and flourish in that fouled environment with few problems. Exactly how the flax adapted remains unclear, but what is clear is that two generations of flax plants have taken root and thrived there, and that could have big implications for growing plants aboard spacecraft or on other planets at some point in the future. [Popular Science]

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space

24 Years After Chernobyl, Radioactive Boars Still Roam Germany

By Andrew Moseman | August 20, 2010 1:15 pm

wild boarA quarter-century after the catastrophe, Chernobyl can’t stay out of the news.

When fires broke out in Russia this month, people worried that the flames would spread to areas still affected by the radiation, with unknown consequences. And this week, we learned that Chernobyl-related radiation is actually on the rise somewhere else: in German boars.

Yes, that’s right, boars.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, Living World
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