'Bad News' on Radiation as Fire Burns Near Chernobyl

Radiation spikes near the forest fire
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2020 2:03 AM CDT
Radiation Spikes as Forest Near Chernobyl Burns
A view of a forest fire burning near the village of Volodymyrivka in the exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Ukraine, Sunday, April 5, 2020.   (AP Photo/Yaroslav Yemelianenko)

Two forest fires were still burning near the Chernobyl nuclear power station as of Sunday night, and radiation levels in the area were said to be substantially higher than normal, the AP reports. "There is bad news—radiation is above normal in the fire’s center," said the head of Ukraine’s state ecological inspection service in a Facebook post cited by the Guardian. He included a video in the post with a Geiger counter showing radiation levels 16 times higher than normal. However, the emergencies service said radiation levels about 60 miles away from the largely unpopulated Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, in the capital city of Kyiv, were within normal range. Fire broke out Saturday; there were discrepancies in the reported size, with the emergencies service saying the fires totaled about 62 acres but the aforementioned official saying they totaled 250 acres. (More Chernobyl stories.)

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