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Fukushima fallout likely to be as deadly as Chernobyl for wildlife: Study

Last Updated: Thursday, August 22, 2013 - 19:21

Washington: The researchers of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the Soviet Union have brought a new focus to the forthcoming long-term effects on Japanese wildlife following the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear leakage of radioactive water over more than 3500 square miles of the country.

Timothy Mousseau and Anders Moller of the University of South Carolina have published three studies detailing the effects of ionizing radiation on pine trees and birds in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

They showed that birds in Chernobyl had high frequencies of albino feathering and tumors with significant rates of cataracts, while tree growth was suppressed by radiation, particularly in smaller trees, even decades after the original accident.

The researchers fear that the history of lost opportunities to better understand the effects of radiation on life during the Chernobyl catastrophe in 1986 was largely being replayed in Fukushima.

The authors believe that the policy -makers need to better fund independent scientists wanting to study the after-effects of contaminated areas in Fukushima.


First Published: Thursday, August 22, 2013 - 19:20
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