iCLEAR: Innovating the Chernobyl Landscape: Environmental Assessment for Rehabilitation and Management
The Universities of Portsmouth and Salford, together with CEH have won a NERC Innovation Follow-on Fund grant to apply TREE research to management of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ). In the new iCLEAR project, the UK team will work with key experts in Ukraine at the State Agency for Exclusion Zone Management, the Chernobyl ECOCENTRE, the Ukrainian Hydrometeorological Institute and the Ukrainian Institute for Agricultural Radiology.
The 4,200 square kilometre human exclusion zone around Chernobyl was put in place due to chronic radiation fall-out following the accident. Human exclusion of the most contaminated parts of the exclusion zone could remain in force for hundreds of years, but parts of the evacuated area now have quite low contamination levels. Some older people currently live in the zone unofficially, having refused to leave, or returned to, their homes. But the land cannot be officially re-used without a full assessment of the risks.
The results of the project will support Ukrainian authorities in developing a timeline for when and where it will eventually be safe to start using portions of no-go land for food production. It is hoped that the environmental management information system developed through iCLEAR will become the gold standard in ensuring that decisions on whether and when to allow farming and other activities to resume in the exclusion zone are underpinned by safe, scientific advice.
For further details please see the following page: http://tree.ceh.ac.uk/content/iclear-0