14 Feb 2018

Radioactive boar found in Romania 32 years after Chernobyl

In North-Eastern Romania, foresters have identified signs of radioactive contamination in a wild boar, thus raising questions about the state of the environment in Romania after the biggest nuclear catastrophe in history.

Delia Budurca
Delia Budurca NewsMavens, Romania
Source: Ager Pres
Radioactive boar found in Romania 32 years after Chernobyl - NewsMavens
Wild boar grazing by Volker.G - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, WikiCommons

Why this story matters:

Although doctors have reported an increase of some types of cancer, no study results on the impact of Chernobyl have been made public -- not even in Moldavia, the North-Eastern region most affected.

Despite the fact that official data ascribes only 60,000 deaths to Chernobyl, the disaster is thought to have affected the lives of up to 5 million people. This radioactive boar exposes an inconvenient truth: we don't know to what extent the catastrophe still impacts our environment.


Details from the story:

  • The Chernobyl disaster occured on April 26, 1986. Romania's communist party, which controlled the press, announced it a week later.
  • The 3-year-old male wild boar was shot on a hunting ground, 10 km from the Romanian border with Ukraine. Its meat presents elevated levels of Cesium 137 and Cesium 134 -- radioactive isotopes most likely left over from the Chernobyl accident.
  • The head of Romsilva, the institution that administrates Romanian forests, said that it is the first time that foresters have encountered such situation.
  • According to the Romanian environmental authorities, the examination of the radioactivity of soil, water and air -- including plants from meadows and pastures -- will soon follow, in order to identify the source of radiation. Pasturing and harvesting will be illegal in those areas.
  • The authorities will also collect 10 samples and analyze the next 100 boars hunted over the following 12 months
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