Field effects studies in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone: Lessons to be learnt

N.A. Beresford, E.M. Scott, D. Copplestone
2019 Journal of Environmental Radioactivity  
In the initial aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl accident there were detrimental effects recorded on wildlife, including, mass mortality of pine trees close to the reactor, reduced pine seed production, reductions in soil invertebrate abundance and diversity and likely death of small mammals. More than 30 years after the Chernobyl accident there is no consensus on the longer-term impact of the chronic exposure to radiation on wildlife in what is now referred to as the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.
more » ... onciling this lack of consensus is one of the main challenges for radioecology. With the inclusion of environmental protection in, for instance, the recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), we need to be able to incorporate knowledge of the potential effects of radiation on wildlife within the regulatory process (e.g. as a basis on which to define benchmark dose rates). In this paper, we use examples of reported effects on different wildlife groups inhabiting the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ) as a framework to discuss potential reasons for the lack of consensus, consider important factors influencing dose rates organisms receive and make some recommendations on good practice.
doi:10.1016/j.jenvrad.2019.01.005 pmid:30718022 fatcat:isv5owo6a5awhfna5gutn4xcme