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Ukraine Suggests Chernobyl Should Land on List of Wonders

UNESCO designation could bring in tourists and spread a message of hope

(Newser) - The Great Barrier Reef. The Grand Canyon. The Great Wall of China. The Galapagos Islands. Chernobyl. One of these things is not like the others, but the gap could close if Ukraine gets its way. Monday is the 35th anniversary of the worst nuclear disaster the world has seen: The...

Pilot Who Braved Chernobyl Dies After Contracting COVID

Russia's Nikolai Antoshkin led helicopter mission to try to put out fire

(Newser) - Nikolai Antoshkin survived the Chernobyl nuclear explosion, but it appears he has fallen victim to COVID more than three decades later. The New York Times reports that the 78-year-old, who led helicopter missions to put out the fire at the nuclear plant, has died after contracting the virus last month...

'Bad News' on Radiation as Fire Burns Near Chernobyl

Radiation spikes near the forest fire

(Newser) - Two forest fires were still burning near the Chernobyl nuclear power station as of Sunday night, and radiation levels in the area were said to be substantially higher than normal, the AP reports. "There is bad news—radiation is above normal in the fire’s center," said the...

For This New Tourist Site, You Need a Hazmat Suit

Ukraine makes Chernobyl control room open for short visits

(Newser) - Not every vacation requires you to receive not one but two tests for radiation exposure, but not every vacation involves a visit to the control room at Chernobyl. Officials in Ukraine are now letting tourists make five-minute visits to the room where the infamous meltdown took place in 1986, reports...

Russian Government Backs New Version of Chernobyl

Remake of HBO hit includes a CIA agent at the nuclear plant

(Newser) - In a bit of delayed counterprogramming, a Russian TV network will tell the story of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster from a different perspective: that of KGB agents trying to unmask a CIA agent doing bad things at the plant. The news comes as the first season's finale of...

Their Ancestors Abandoned at Chernobyl, These Pups Persist
Found Around Chernobyl:
Hundreds of Playful Pups
In Case You Missed It

Found Around Chernobyl: Hundreds of Playful Pups

Dogs' ancestors were abandoned by residents after the nuclear plant meltdown in '86

(Newser) - Tarzan loves to fetch sticks, run after snowballs, and is, per Julie McDowall, "a playful example of global kindness and cooperation." Writing for the Guardian , McDowall explains that Tarzan is one of hundreds of stray dogs living in the 1,000-square-mile exclusion zone surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear plant,...

Rare Cancer in NYC Linked to Chernobyl

Radiation from 1986 meltdown may have caused 10 cases of eye cancer

(Newser) - It was a rare form of eye cancer seen only a few times in the US in the past two decades. So when 10 New Yorkers developed vitreoretinal lymphoma within four years of each other, researchers hunted for a common link. That search led them across the world to the...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

Radiation May Not Kill You, but Fear of It Might
Radiation May Not Kill You, but Fear of It Might

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...

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

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,...

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...

'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...

'48 Hours to Worse Than Chernobyl'

 '48 Hours to Worse 
 Than Chernobyl' 

'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...

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