Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chernobyl: A field trip to no man's land

Chernobyl: A field trip to no man's land

"I had nightmares when I first came here," says Andrea. "You feel this sort of constant invisible threat.

"But you do get used to it. Now, I actually quite enjoy these field trips."

Andrea Bonisoli-Alquati, a willowy Italian biologist, is sitting with a team of his colleagues in one of the very few restaurants in Chernobyl.

In this half-empty dingy canteen, while the speakers blare out euro-pop, Andrea is eating dinner on the first evening of a six day scientific excursion to the 30km exclusion zone that surrounds the infamous Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

He is one of an international team of a dozen researchers who are here to study the ecosystem that was left behind after the 1986 accident."


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