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Termin: 16.05.2018 Uhrzeit: 16:00 - 17:00

Insights from Chernobyl after 30 years

Vortrag
Referent/in: Dr. Olena Dubovyk
Inhalt:
Antrittvorlesung - DIES ACADEMICUS

16.15 Uhr, Hörsaal VIII
Dr. Olena Dubovyk (Erdwissenschaften)
Insights from Chernobyl after 30 years: from the world's biggest anthropogenic disaster to a flourishing wildlife hotspot

 

The disaster at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (ChNPP), that happened on 26th of April 1986 in Ukraine (former Soviet Union), was the largest techno-ecological catastrophe both in the sense of power of exposure doze and coverage with radioactive pollution. The ChNPP complex, consisting of four nuclear reactors, is located about 100 km north of Kyiv, capital of Ukraine, and about 20 km south of the border with Belarus. Soviet officials began evacuating residents near the ChNPP 36 hours after the explosion and by 1990, more than 350,000 people were resettled from the most severely contaminated areas of Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia. This left the 30-km zone around the ChNPP with the highest level of radioactive pollution, now known as the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ), empty of humans. After humans had left the area, natural ecological succession has gradually transformed the landscape with forest cover increasing from about 50% of the area before the disaster to more than 70% in 2014. The similar trend has been observed with an increase of amount of wildlife in the area. This poses a number of research questions that are not easy to answer, such as ‘Does the evidence from the studies in the exclusion zone show that ecosystems are far more robust to the nuclear contamination, or that they are more vulnerable than anyone imagined possible?’ Finding an answer is very important for proper natural resource management in the CEZ to avoid further negative consequences of the Chernobyl disaster such as due to risk of forest fires that could lead to radioactive contamination of a large area outside of the CEZ. Thus, more multidisciplinary research in Chernobyl should be further conducted including, but not limited to, a research in radiation studies, ecology, remote sensing and economics.

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