Humble insects may be called as witnesses to the next nuclear accident. Shining UV light on their wings reveals how much radiation they have absorbed. Staff at nuclear plants carry dosimeters, instruments that take real-time measurements of radioactive exposure, usually expressed in grays (Gy). Civilians in the surrounding areas probably won’t have these devices. In the event of an accidental release of radioactive material, this leaves a gap in the data on its dispersal and resulting radioactivity doses, making it hard to estimate health effects by location.
New Scientist 5th May 2016 read more »