Researchers at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) have worked with international scientists to compile a definitive paper on the effects of radiation on the environment, based on investigations at Chernobyl and Fukushima. The document provides solid guidelines to regulators such as the Environment Agency (EA), which sets dose limits in England on the amount of radioactivity that might harm flora and fauna. The paper consolidates conclusions from the world’s two largest scientific studies assessing the environment at Chernobyl, named TREE (standing for ‘Transfer, Exposure, Effects’ and which UWE Bristol is a part of), and the EU-funded COMET. Professor Neil Willey, who is UWE Bristol’s lead author on the paper, said: “This report dispels the exaggerated claims made in some other reports about the effects of radiation on the environment and the doses needed to damage flora and fauna. “Some claim that minute levels of radiation found in trees today are having an adverse effect on them, but the damage to their cells is the result of the radiation they were exposed to 35 years ago during the nuclear disaster.” He added that when looking at damage to flora and fauna in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, many such reports have failed to take into account other factors, including human activity, which affect the environment.
Tech Spark 13th Nov 2019 read more »