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Lessons from the past

The Chernobyl disaster still has much to tell us about the long-term risks of low-level radiation exposure. But only if the necessary follow-up studies are supported.

As the battle to make safe the Fukushima nuclear reactors continues, the political fallout is spreading across Japan and around the world. Despite reassuring early reports, it is clear that significant amounts of radioisotopes have been released from the plant, and some workers there face severe radiation exposure as they try to cool the overheated nuclear fuel. In response, several governments are reviewing the safety and future of their own nuclear programmes. Fukushima has undoubtedly strengthened the hand of those who oppose nuclear power.

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Nature Volume 471 Issue 7340

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