– Massive Forest Fire Heads Toward Chernobyl (ZeroHedge, April 29, 2015):
Have you ever wondered what would happen if a raging forest fire swept across an area severely contaminated by radioactive waste? We can’t say that we have either, but we may be about to find out because there are around 400 hectares of woodland on fire in the exclusion zone around Chernobyl. While the Ukrainian government claims the fire is “contained,” some say the mass burning of plants which may have absorbed significant levels of contaminants over the nearly three decades since the Chernobyl nuclear accident has the potential to “resuspend” harmful agents in the surrounding air. Here’s ecologist Christopher Busby who spoke to RT:
And here’s Reuters with the “official” word from Ukraine:
Ukrainian fire fighters have contained a large forest fire that threatened to spread toward the abandoned Chernobyl nuclear power plant and radiation levels in the area are normal, Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said on Wednesday.
The blaze in woodlands, parts of which are still contaminated by radioactive particles from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, had raised fears of increased radiation as high winds pushed it toward the plant about 20 km (12 miles) away.
Yatseniuk, speaking at a government meeting, said: “As of 1245 (05:45 EDT) the fires has been localized and contained. The radiation levels are normal.”
And more from BBC:
Mr Avakov said authorities suspected the fire was started deliberately and had tightened security around the exclusion zone.
A state nuclear inspection official told AFP that the level of background radiation around the plant had not changed after the fire broke out.
A fire raged at the plant for 10 days after the reactor meltdown 1986, sending huge amounts of radioactive material into the surrounding environment and over large parts of Europe, particularly Ukraine, Belarus and Russia.
The area around the plant was evacuated and a 30km (19 mile) exclusion zone remains in place to this day. Work on laying a new seal over the damaged reactor began in 2007 and is due to be completed this year.
Here are some visuals: