Tuesday, September 6, 2005
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Good news about Chernobyl
Peter Finn reports in the Washington Post that twenty years after the disaster at Chernobyl, the health effects have been much less than prior estimates would have suggested:
Here's a link to the World Health Organization's press release on the report -- compare and contrast with this media assessment from a decade ago.
Environmentalists will likely not appreciate the irony of Finn's closing paragraphs:
posted by Dan on 09.06.05 at 12:48 AM
I should hope that this might defuse some of the hysteria about WMD. Chernobyl was the largest "dirty bomb" imaginable. The sarin gas attack in the Japanese subway (a true "perfect storm" scenario) killed 8 people. The anthrax attacks after 9/11 killed 5 people. The only real WMD is a nuclear bomb, or a category 4 hurricane.
p.s., I agree fully with the actions of the United States in re Afghanistan, Iraq and any other crazy bastards who don't get the word.posted by: Roy Lofquist on 09.06.05 at 12:48 AM [permalink]
Re: Last Paragraph
The return of the Chernobyl area to a relatively wild state is not news. This has been known and recognized for over a decade and reported in such prominent journals as Nature. The general phenomenon is recognized well; remove humans and a good deal of the natural world returns. For a number of years, the East/West German border was a defacto nature reserve for this reason. The effect, however, is usually incomplete. Studies comparing reforested land in the USA with the small amount of virgin forest usually disclose significantly higher species diversity in the virgin forest.posted by: Roger Albin on 09.06.05 at 12:48 AM [permalink]
No mention of modern-day Chernobyl would be complete without Elena Filatova, the Russian biker:posted by: Mike on 09.06.05 at 12:48 AM [permalink]
"Without a permanent residency of humans for 20 years, the ecosystems around the Chernobyl site are now flourishing," the report said. "It looks like the nature park it has become."
Something similar has happened in the portions of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state, where humans are not permitted due to various security concerns.
It's a shame it takes nuclear health hazards to get people to leave certain places alone.posted by: rosignol on 09.06.05 at 12:48 AM [permalink]
Doesn't anyone find it the least bit fishy that this information was released just as Great Britain and the U.S. are considering commissioning new nuclear plants?posted by: Sara on 09.06.05 at 12:48 AM [permalink]
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