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a natural paradise within an irradiated exclusion zone
on 1 February 2017
This short book provides an excellent overview of recent studies conducted in the area surrounding the destroyed Chernobyl nuclear reactor. The accident that occurred on the 26th April 1986 was devastating, representing the worst nuclear disaster ever. Following this event, the nearby city of Pripyat was permanently evacuated, with some 30,000 residents forced to relocate. And an 'exclusion zone' extending 30km in every direction was established - as radiation levels were extremely high. It has been estimated that the area will not be safe for human occupation for another 20,000 years ... And so, for the most part, this vast area has remained abandoned for the last 30 years. Yet life has continued - and, indeed, thrived in this nuclear terrain. Rather than becoming a barren wasteland, this exclusion zone has become a haven for wildlife. It's a highly forested area, and both plant and animal life are thriving. Other than the derelict buildings of abandoned Pripyat, the Chernobyl area resembles a natural paradise. And this book explores the environment and ecology of the irradiated region.
It's a well-written book - aimed at those with a background in the environmental sciences. While a lay reader may understand aspects of this book, for the most part it's a summary of academic contributions which won't make complete sense to a novice. But if this is your area of interest, I highly recommend this book. It's a fascinating study on how life finds a way to thrive in extreme conditions.