Chernobyl

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Robots and Giant Sliding Dome Are Finally Sealing Chernobyl

The $1.6B arch is taller than the Statue of Liberty

(Newser) - In the aftermath of the world's worst nuclear disaster in Chernobyl in 1986, which resulted in radiation that ultimately reached as far as Japan and the US, the Soviet Union slapped together a massive sarcophagus of metal and concrete as hastily as possible to contain further fallout at the... More »

Amid Chernobyl's Ruins, One Thing of Value Remains

Sunshine is about the only thing safe to export from the exclusion zone

(Newser) - If anything, the land in the 1,000-square-mile exclusion zone left largely untouched since the Chernobyl disaster of 1986 is cheap. After all, studies suggest it won't be inhabitable until the year 4986, reported McClatchy DC in April, and pretty much nothing can be harvested from it. But now... More »

German Man Claims 'Fantastical' Find: Nazi Nukes

Peter Lohr warns his alleged find will eventually decay

(Newser) - A Nazi gold train . The Amber Room . Claims of legendary Nazi-era finds have been surfacing of late—and, it's worth noting, not panning out —and Nazi nukes now join that list. In what it describes as a "fantastical" claim, the Local reports retired mechanical engineer and amateur... More »

Wolves Have Taken Over Chernobyl

Elk, deer, wild boar also enjoying life free from human habitation

(Newser) - What happens when humans abandon 1,600 square miles because of radioactivity? Wildlife runs rampant, apparently. A new study on animals in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone shows what once looked something like a wasteland is now packed with elk, roe deer, red deer, wild boar, and wolves. Researchers conducted aerial... More »

Nothing to See Here Except a Fox Making a Giant Sandwich

Radio crew near Chernobyl captured video of animal creating 5-layer delight

(Newser) - A now-under-control forest fire that had threatened to encroach upon the abandoned Chernobyl nuclear plant may have created a lot of smoke and charred debris, but one thing it did not do is mess up one Ukrainian fox's sandwich-making skills. A radio crew in the Pripyat exclusion zone spied... More »

Germany Grapples With Chernobyl's Radioactive Boars

Government compensates hunters for unsellable meat

(Newser) - The effects of Chernobyl are still being felt 700 miles and nearly three decades away—in the form of radioactive boars. Wild boars' meat is considered a delicacy, the Telegraph notes, but a third of those animals wandering Saxony, eastern Germany, exhibit radioactivity levels beyond the EU's legal limits,... More »

In Chernobyl's Forests, Decay Is Terribly Stalled

Leaves aren't decaying, and they could fuel fires

(Newser) - Radiation from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster is messing with local forests' ability to decay—and that's dangerous, both for local ecosystems and perhaps the area's neighbors. Researchers were concerned that decades after the disaster, dead trees in the area still hadn't decomposed, the Smithsonian notes. "We... More »

Radiation May Not Kill You, but Fear of It Might

David Ropeik: Our dread of nuclear accidents exceeds the facts

(Newser) - Seems like there's a new story every week about a new radioactive leak or accident at Japan's shuttered Fukushima nuclear plant. The headlines may sound terrifying, but David Ropeik in the New York Times points out that scientists have said repeatedly that the radiation has been relatively harmless... More »

What Does Fukushima's Level 7 Mean?

It sounds really, really bad. Is it?

(Newser) - Japan has made the decision to raise the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear disaster severity level from 5 to 7. That obviously means "worse." But what else does it mean?
  • Japan finally has an estimate on how much radiation has been released: The level is an indication of the total
... More »

Fukushima Endgame: Years, a Fortune Away

Will likely take decades to decommission nuke plant

(Newser) - The day when radiation stops spilling out of Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi is still unknown, but it'll be at least a decade and millions of dollars beyond that by the time the nuclear plant is decommissioned, reports the AP. That's the timeline from Toshiba, which built four of the six reactors,... More »

Chernobyl Victims Still Face Greater Cancer Risk

Study's timing amid Japan nuclear crisis pure coincidence

(Newser) - It’s been almost a quarter of a century, but kids who consumed contaminated milk or affected cheese soon after the Chernobyl crisis still face a heightened thyroid cancer risk, a study finds. Researchers have kept tabs on 12,500 subjects who were under 18 and lived near Chernobyl when... More »

'Funny' Japanese Nuclear Boy Explains Disaster

Watch out for gas!

(Newser) - Confused about Japan's mounting nuclear disaster? Check out the nation's cheery animated "Nuclear Boy," a personification of the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi's plant, on YouTube. Poor Genpatsu-kun (Nuclear Boy to you) gets an upset stomach and he "can't hold his poo any longer!" But he lets out... More »

'48 Hours to Worse Than Chernobyl'

The Japanese have lost control, officials warn

(Newser) - Officials around the world are increasingly concerned that Japan's mounting nuclear disaster is out of control. "It would be hard to describe how alarming this is right now," an American official tells ABC News . He warns that unless Japan can get all of its crippled nuclear plants under... More »

Chernobyl Bird Brains 5% Smaller

Residual radiation still hurting

(Newser) - Scientists have discovered some disturbing new about the still-lingering effects of the Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster: Birds born in the radiated region have brains 5% smaller than normal. "Even exposure to relatively low levels" of radiation 25 years after the accident "can have profound effects on the species... More »

Russia: Iran Could Cause 'Another Chernobyl'

Damaged nuclear reactor activation should not be rushed, scientists insist

(Newser) - If Iran’s attempts to activate its first nuclear power plant go forward as planned, we could be facing “another Chernobyl,” Russian officials warn. Russia has been assisting Iran with its controversial Bushehr reactor, which was reportedly damaged by the Stuxnet virus . Because of that damage, Russian scientists... More »

Chernobyl Opening to Tourists

Guided tours to be offered inside restricted zone

(Newser) - Get your red hots! Ukraine plans to start welcoming tourists to the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster next year. Officials will open up the sealed zone which extends for a 30-mile radius around the Chernobyl plant, and guides will offer tours which would avoid contaminated areas while taking... More »

Russia's New Fear: Chernobyl-Tainted Smoke

Wildfires encroach on contaminated regions

(Newser) - As Russia continues to battle raging wildfires in 100-degree temperatures, environmentalists are raising a scary cause for concern: radioactive smoke courtesy of Chernobyl. Regions of western Russian remain contaminated with radioactive residue from the nuclear disaster 24 years ago, and now wildfires are threatening those regions, explains the New York ... More »

Boar Not Just Nasty, but Radioactive

Seriously: German boar still contaminated by Chernobyl

(Newser) - Here's a weird twist on the boom in the wild boar population in Germany that has seen packs of the beasts rampaging down city streets and attacking people in parks: A bunch of them are radioactive. Believe it or not, they were contaminated by the fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear... More »

10 Places Not to Visit in 2010

Can't afford a vacation? Don't worry about skipping these locales

(Newser) - Sure, you could read one of the many lists of destinations you should visit this year—but in this economic climate, wouldn’t it be more useful to check out a list of places not to visit? Hailey Eber thinks so, and gives her top 10 in BlackBook :
  • Oymyakon, Russia:
... More »

Chernobyl Exchange Teen Demands to Stay in US

Furious Belarus officials call California host family 'kidnappers'

(Newser) - A Chernobyl exchange teen who doesn’t want to leave her host California family has infuriated Belarus officials, who are demanding her return. Tanya Kazyra, 16, has spent the last nine summers with a Petaluma family as part of a humanitarian exchange health program for children suffering the effects of... More »

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