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Special Report

The Chernobyl Nuclear Accident 25 Years Later

On April 26, 1986, the world's worst nuclear disaster took place. How has the area recovered, and what lessons does it hold?

  • April 26, 2011

How Radiation Threatens Health

As worries grow over radiation leaks at Fukushima, is it possible to gauge the immediate and lasting health effects of radiation exposure? Here's the science behind radiation sickness and other threats facing Japan

March 15, 2011 — Nina Bai

Scientific meltdown at Chernobyl?

Twenty years after the Chernobyl meltdown in Ukraine, radiation is still hammering the region's insect, spider, and bird populations.

At least that's what Reuters and the BBC reported last week based on a paper published in the journal Biology Letters by ecologists Timothy Mousseau of the University of South Carolina and Anders Møller of the University of Paris-Sud.

March 24, 2009 — Brendan Borrell

Is Fukushima really as bad as Chernobyl?

One month to the day after the devastating twin blows of a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent 15-meter tall tsunami, Japanese officials have reclassified the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant at the highest possible level.

April 12, 2011 — David Biello

Chernobyl Opens for Tourism

Next month marks Chernobyl's 25th anniversary, and the site is now accepting tourists. Christie Nicholson reports

March 20, 2011

Bering Sea, radiation, historic tortoise.

In this episode, science writer Karen de Seve shares her adventures in the Bering Sea; journalist Dr. John Miller talks about a radiation health conference; and taxonomist and paleontologist Scott Thomson discusses the late Harriet the tortoise. Plus we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Organizations and websites mentioned on this podcast include the Liberty Science Center, www.lsc.org; Karen de Seve's blog, http://beringsea.blogspot.com; the American Statistical Association, www.amstat.org; Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harriet; and the Scientific American Digital Archive, www.sciamdigital.com.

June 28, 2006 — Steve Mirsky

Fukushima Will Be a Wasteland

Scientific American's David Biello judges Fukushima to have reached Chernobyl proportions. Steve Mirsky reports

March 17, 2011

Beware the fear of nuclear....FEAR!

It is frightening to watch what’s going on with Japan’s nuclear plant at Fukushima. It is also worrying to watch the fear racing around the world as a result of those events, fear that in some cases is far in excess of what’s going on, or even the worst case scenarios of what might happen.

March 12, 2011 — David Ropeik