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Why Wildlife Returning to Chernobyl Tells Us Almost Nothing

Several years ago, I was speaking with a prominent Anthropocene scholar in Uppsala, Sweden. We were in disagreement about the risks to the environment of nuclear power. For both of us, Chernobyl was part of making our case to each other. He told me that if the radiation around Chernobyl was so dangerous, it would not now be as full of returning wildlife as it has become. Animals are becoming more abundant there, he explained, so it shows that things are not as dangerous in the Exclusion Zone as

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