COMET workshop report: Thirty years after the Chernobyl accident: what do we know about the effects of radiation on the environment?

C Barnett, Nele Horemans, S. Welch

    Research outputpeer-review


    The year 2016 was the 30th anniversary of the world’s worst nuclear accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant (Ukraine). To mark this anniversary, a workshop was held in the Ukraine to discuss what we have learnt from studies of the effects of radiation on the environment (i.e. wildlife) in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ), and what questions still remain. Consideration was also given to wildlife effect studies conducted in the Fukushima area of Japan following the 2011 releases from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The topic of the workshop was selected because of the lack of consensus on the impacts of radiation on wildlife in the CEZ (e.g. Beresford & Copplestone 2011; Møller & Mousseau 2016). There are a comparatively large number of publications which report to have observed detrimental effects of radiation on wildlife at comparatively low dose rates. To put these low dose rates into context, some studies report radiation induced effects below natural background exposure rates of wildlife in, for instance, the United Kingdom. A similar debate is beginning to evolve with respect to observations made within the vicinity of Fukushima (e.g. Beresford et al. 2012; Copplestone & Beresford 2014; UNSCEAR 2106). Radiation effects studies of wildlife in the CEZ have been given considerable
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherEC - European Commission
    Number of pages57
    StatePublished - 7 Dec 2016

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