April 20, 2006

Risk or Protection?

The Beeb is running an article on the state of wildlife in the contaminated zone around Chernobyl. Apparently, with the exception of species that do not peregrinate and remain within local hotspots, most local fauna are flourishing, in the sense of reproducing and increasing their population above what was possible when humans shared the land. While there are mutations in DNA, it seems that cancer-like symptoms are rarely found - one scientist notes that most creatures (like mice, say) that are studied for such have lifespans shorter than the expected time for such syndromes to appear in the wild, but due to predators and mishap rather than illness.

Anyway, a provocative idea...one point that is made, in an off-the-cuff manner, is that perhaps one way to preserve areas for wildlife would be to store radioactive waste in them. As one 'radioecologist' notes re: the Chernobyl experience, most species there don't seem to care much at all. While many animals are too radioactive to be domesticated for human productive use, this doesn't appear to be affecting their lifespans or life experience much. Furthermore, deep-vaulted waste storage would (hopefully) not actually contaminate the area, but would certainly make it undesirable and impractical for actual development.

Posted by jbz at April 20, 2006 11:20 PM | TrackBack

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