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Forests surrounding Chernobyl a fire waiting to happen: robotic chipper needed | Motherboard


curated by | April 3, 2014

“As if the Ukraine didn’t have enough to worry about these days with Russia invading Crimea, recent scientific research points to the very real threat of a nuclear forest fire. Great heavy metal band name aside, the forests around Chernobyl—the nuclear power plant that exploded 28 years ago—are not decaying properly and should it all catch fire, radioactive material would spread beyond Chernobyl’s Zone of Alienation, the off-limits 1000 square-miles around the decommissioned facility located 68 miles north of Kiev.”

John Payne‘s insight:

Reducing standing deadwood to chips lying on the forest floor not only reduces the ferocity of a fire, should one occur, but also would act to retain moisture, accelerating decay of the wood.  But the area is still too radioactive for people to spend much time there, so robotic equipment is needed.

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