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Twenty-five years after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster natural life in the region is showing signs of recovery. This is the finding of scientists at the University of Portsmouth, who have published the information in the Royal Society Journal Biology Letters.

Professor Jim Smith has studied nuclear fallout and its impact on the barn swallow: “The natural variation in insect population, can override the possible radiation effect. This is also seen by Ukrainian and Belarussian scientists who are living and working in the exclusion zone and have studied the wildlife since the accident. And they found that there is a dramatic increase in biodiversity of a range of organisms –birds, wild mammals – in the exclusion zone after the accident, and that’s attributed to the evacuation of the human population. So now in the exclusion zone it’s quite well policed, there’s no hunting going on there, there’s no fishing, there’s no human activity, nobody building roads, chopping down trees, ploughing fields. This has benefited the wildlife”.

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