Chernobyl revisited: Virtual issue explores ecological effects of nuclear disasters

June 07, 2011

The decision of the German government to phase out nuclear power by 2022 has reopened an energy debate that has far wider implications than Germany or Japan, which is still coming to terms with events at the damaged Fukushima plant.

This virtual issue, published by the SETAC journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry adds to that debate by exploring the ecological effects of radiation, using research from the Chernobyl disaster.

The issue is a freely accessible resource for researchers that offers a historical precedent for considering the long-term environmental impact of the nuclear accident in Fukushima.

"From snails to voles and trout, a region's entire ecosystem can be impacted by radiation from the type of nuclear disaster experienced at Chernobyl twenty-five years ago, or at Fukushima today," said ET&C Editor-in-Chief Herb Ward, from Rice University, Houston. "The research brought together in this virtual issue allows us to better understand the long-term ecological and environmental impact of Chernobyl, setting a bench mark that allows us to anticipate the effects of future nuclear accidents."
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The 23 articles featured in the virtual issue include:Coming Soon: Experts Discuss Environmental Challenges to Nuclear Power in July 2011 Issue of IEAM

The July 2011 issue of Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management will feature a series of invited commentaries that discuss environmental challenges to nuclear power generation. The March 2011 events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan captured the world's attention and re-invigorated concerns about the safety of nuclear power. IEAM Editors invited experts to describe the primary issues associated with the control and release of radioactive materials to the environment. The commentaries address the broad science and policy challenges raised by this event, and provide a brief overview of the science issues that surround this situation.

Look for the series "Challenges Posed by Radiation and Radionuclides in the Environment" in the July issue of IEAM (7.3). All commentaries will be open access and available at setacjournals.org.

Wiley

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