Stunning Photos Of Norway's Reindeer Hide A Radioactive Secret

Nearly three decades have passed since the devastating meltdown at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Pripyat, Ukraine. Yet, all these years later the fallout from the disaster continues to have a detrimental environmental effect. The deadly 1986 explosion at Chernobyl resulted in a mass evacuation and the relocation of hundreds of thousands of people living in surrounding areas. Radiation spread across the region. Today, more than 1,000 miles away from the disaster site, residual poisons linger in the quiet pastures of central Norway in an unsuspecting host: radioactive reindeer.  Norwegian scientists point to the reindeer's diet as the reason for their contamination, according to Norway's The Local news site. Gypsy mushrooms, which the reindeer eat, absorb radioactive caesium-137 particles that have drifted north over time and accumulated in Norwegian soil. This poses a problem for Norway's indigenous Sami people. They brave the country's harsh climate to herd the reindeer as a means of economic survival and cultural tradition, but this has become dangerous. The Sami harvest the animals for meat production, but as a result of the recent rise in radioactivity levels, many are not safe for consumption, which is impacting their livelihood. In 2014, the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority reported that they detected radioactivity in the reindeer. Radiation levels in meat can be found by analyzing the amount of becquerels -- a unit ...
Source: Science - The Huffington Post - Category: Science Source Type: news

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