I well remember the day that news of Chernobyl reached me. I was at school, 13 years old. At that time I walked into school with my friends, Tom Bowles, Emily Ansell and Victoria Carcary. We lived in Kent, and we knew that the winds were bringing a cloud of radioactive dust toward us. At the time, we didn't understand this, and I remember being quite concerned. As it turned out, the dose was quite minimal, though areas of Cumbria were affected as when sheep grazed and ingested the heavy metals which rained onto the soil, the atoms of heavy metal stayed in the sheep and as they moved up the food chain the concentration increased. This caused a ban on these sheep entering the food chain.
Most people, to be honest, don't understand radiation. It's something they can't see of hear or touch. I'm not one of them and so I am strongly resisting all urges to write several thousand words on the subject.
Nobody would say that Chernobyl was a good thing, so people wonder why we use Nuclear Power at all. One of the reasons is that though fossil fuels do not have the same acute risk as a nuclear reactor, there is a continuous low level emission of CO2 which could be worse due to the Greenhouse effect!
Why am I concerned today with Chernobyl? Simply this, I've been looking at a website which concerns the journey of a motorcyclist through the 'dead zone'. I found this fascinating and intriguing. It's interesting to see how nature is adapting in this area - and to find that people still live in the area near Chernobyl.