Reindeer Are Still Very Radioactive 30 Years After Chernobyl

Amos Chapple

In 1986, scientists detected levels of radiation in the reindeer unfit for human consumption. European governments passed strict regulations, and the Sami people released their herds back to the wild.
A veterinarian uses a sensor device to detect radiation levels in a reindeer.Amos Chapple

Source: University of Texas

"The aftermath of Chernobyl was devastating," Chapple tells Business Insider. "[The herders] went from living this timeless lifestyle, completely at one with nature, to suddenly working in one of the most contaminated places on earth."

"The aftermath of Chernobyl was devastating," Chapple tells Business Insider. "[The herders] went from living this timeless lifestyle, completely at one with nature, to suddenly working in one of the most contaminated places on earth."
Amos Chapple
Thirty years later, conditions have improved. The radioactivity of the cesium-137 released has decayed by half, but much of the slow-growing lichen remains unsafe. In 2014, hundreds of reindeer failed inspection due to strong fungus growth.
Thirty years later, conditions have improved. The radioactivity of the cesium-137 released has decayed by half, but much of the slow-growing lichen remains unsafe. In 2014, hundreds of reindeer failed inspection due to strong fungus growth.
Amos Chapple

Source: Cultural Survival and Radio Free Europe

Sami herders in Snasa, who eat reindeer, get tested annually for radiation. They tell Chapple they will always live in the shadow of Chernobyl.

Sami herders in Snasa, who eat reindeer, get tested annually for radiation. They tell Chapple they will always live in the shadow of Chernobyl.
Bjorn-Owe Holmberg/AP
 
Read the original article on Tech Insider. Copyright 2016.
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