Reindeer in Norway are still radioactive despite of Chernobyl occurring 30 years ago
The devastating impact of Chernobyl still lingers on in memory as one of the world’s worst man-made disasters till date. The horrible explosion of the 4th reactor on April 26th 1986 cast a toxic cloud over western Russia and Europe killing 4000 people from radiation. The areas still remains desolate and a silent testimony to the havoc that can be caused by man.
But!! It wasn’t just man that suffered the deadly effects of radiation; animals too were equally affected where till date reindeer in Norway suffer radiation after effects from the Chernobyl disaster.
1 What caused the reactor to explode?
Similar to a giant steam engine, a nuclear reactor produces huge amounts of heat that converts water to steam. This is caused by the chemical reaction of Uranium Rods reacting with each other. The resulting steam powers generators that produce electricity. Overheating is prevented by control rods lowered into the Uranium chambers. Unfortunately the Chernobyl disaster was caused during a safety drill when technicians removed all safety rods thus creating overheating. The ensuing explosion spewed the fatal radioactive gas into the surrounding atmosphere.
On that fateful day, 8 tons of radioactive gas was spewed into Chernobyl. Although 115,000 people were evacuated, it had already taken hold killing several. The fires caused by the explosion took 15 days to extinguish.
2 How weather transferred radiation to Norway
Despite Chernobyl being a part of modern history, its effects are still being observed in parts of Europe. In Norway, the indigenous Sami population rear domestic reindeer for meat as well as chores. Chernobyl haunts these people as their reindeer seem to have radiation embedded into them where the animals are still suffering from radiation. A photographer by the name of Amos Chapple has tried his best to create awareness in the world about the plight of the reindeer in Norway suffering radiation from Chernobyl.
Due to bad weather conditions, wind and rain created a sort of transferring agent where almost 70 grams of a deadly radioactive chemical Cesium 137 was transported by weather agents and transferred into Norviginian ground. Flora and fauna were badly affected namely lichen the main source of nutrition for reindeer.
3 The Sami people are still affected by Chernobyl
Rearing reindeer are the main source of income for the Sami who have been known as reindeer walkers for over 9000 years. But, since the Chernobyl disaster, radiation spikes can be seen now and then and is rampant among the slow growing fungus lichen. During a government inspection of reindeer in 2014, hundreds of the animals failed the test. Through reindeer in Norway suffering radiation, one can then safely assume, the domino effect is now even causing the Sami population to be affected with radiation as the main source of food is reindeer meat.