Nuclear energy - greener than you think?

Jim Smith*, Dave Timms

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


The environmental reputation of nuclear industry is improving as recent studies suggest that it has negligible impact on environment and is not a big environmental threat. Many scientists now describe the radioactive zone around Chernobyl nuclear accident site in Ukraine as a rich wildlife reserve. It is found that radioactive pollution has little long-term effect on animals and plants in the natural environment. Scientists in Ukraine and Belarus have observed a considerable recovery in wildlife populations in the Chernobyl area, almost twenty years after the nuclear accident. The reasons for the wildlife's recovery are that, except at extremely high levels, radiation makes little direct damage to animals and plants. The Chernobyl case demonstrates an important environmental lesson that radiation has no observable influence on wildlife numbers, but human occupancy and land-use do the real damage to ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages3
Specialist publicationPlanet Earth
PublisherUK Government
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006


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