Ruined amusement park in Pripyat, Ukraine

Les humains sont-ils pires que Tchernobyl ?

PORTSMOUTH – Presque 30 ans se sont écoulés depuis l'accident nucléaire de Tchernobyl et la communauté scientifique n'est toujours pas d'accord au sujet de l'impact du rayonnement sur l'écosystème aux alentours du réacteur. Dernièrement, j'ai étudié avec d'autres scientifiques les animaux dans la zone d'exclusion humaine autour de la centrale.

Les résultats sont choquants : quel que puisse être l'impact des radiations sur les animaux, les effets de l'habitat humain semblent avoir été bien pires. Le site nous remémore avec force à quel point la simple présence physique d'êtres humains dans un habitat est plus préjudiciable qu'une des pires catastrophes environnementales du XXème siècle.

Nous avons étudié des animaux sur la zone qui couvre près de 2 200 kilomètres carrés (850 milles carrés) à l'intérieur de la zone d'exclusion biélorusse connue sous le nom de « Réserve radio-écologique de l'État de Polésie. » Avant le désastre, ce secteur abritait 22 000 personnes dans 92 villages et la terre était cultivée et exploitée pour ses ressources forestières. Dans les jours qui ont suivi l'accident, les habitants humains du secteur ont été déplacés avec leurs animaux de ferme pour les protéger contre les niveaux élevés de radiations.

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