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Chernobyl Revisited: Virtual Issue Explores Ecological Effects Of Nuclear Disasters

June 7, 2011

The decision of the German government to phase out nuclear power by 2022 has reopened an energy debate that has far wider implications than Germany or Japan, which is still coming to terms with events at the damaged Fukushima plant.

This virtual issue, published by the SETAC journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry adds to that debate by exploring the ecological effects of radiation, using research from the Chernobyl disaster.

The issue is a freely accessible resource for researchers that offers a historical precedent for considering the long-term environmental impact of the nuclear accident in Fukushima.

“From snails to voles and trout, a region’s entire ecosystem can be impacted by radiation from the type of nuclear disaster experienced at Chernobyl twenty-five years ago, or at Fukushima today,” said ET&C Editor-in-Chief Herb Ward, from Rice University, Houston. “The research brought together in this virtual issue allows us to better understand the long-term ecological and environmental impact of Chernobyl, setting a bench mark that allows us to anticipate the effects of future nuclear accidents.”

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