Hiroshima Fallout from Mark Monmonier’s Cartographies of Danger:
Three Mile Flower:
Chernobyl Fallout (one map in three images):
The Chernobyl reactor in the then-Soviet Union exploded on April 26, 1986. For days a nuclear fire burned as billowing smoke deposited radioactive debris over the Ukraine, Europe, and beyond. Residents were evacuated, homes and businesses abandoned. Toxic land around the plant was sealed off. This area become known as the Zone of Alienation; stripped of human activity for more than 20 years, myriad animals (wolves, wild boar, bears, lynx) have migrated to the area.
Parts of the site are up to 10,000 times more radioactive than a normal environment. For the firs few years it was very, very contaminated. There was a lot of iodine 131, cesium 137, and strontium 90. Plutonium 239 was also released in fairly considerable quantities. There is still a ton of it around and it is biologically extremely active. It has a half-life of twenty-five thousand years. So it will be there forever, effectively. The question is: How does this impact the overall functioning of the ecosystem?
(Tim Mousseau, professor of biological science at the University of South Carolina, has studied birds inside the Zone of Alienation for over a decade).
Prussian blue capsules are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration as a, “safe and effective” treatment for internal contamination by radioactive cesium and radioactive thallium. After the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, cyanotype ingredients were spread on the grass in North Wales to safeguard grazing animals.
Radioactive Word: Flora, Fauna, and Figures effected by Radioactivity:
And Recent Incidents—citing Polonium’s impact in particular:
Images from Lauren Redniss’ book, “Radioactive: Marie and Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout” (2010).