Bird populations near Fukushima are more diminished than expected

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Fukushima, nucléaire, radiations, oiseaux

Moineau sur une branche de cerisier au Japon ©YOSHIKAZU TSUNO / AFP

Low-level radiation in Fukushima Prefecture appears to have had immediate effects on bird populations, and to a greater degree than was expected from a related analysis of Chernobyl, an international team of scientists reported today in Environmental Pollution.

In July 2011, the researchers identified and counted birds at 300 locations in Fukushima Prefecture, ranging from 15 to 30 miles from the damaged nuclear complex. Largely still open to human occupation, these areas had external radiation levels from 0.5 to 35 microsieverts per hour.


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