Research in Chornobyl resumes amidst the Russia-Ukraine war


Matthew Ponsford of Nature reports that Russia’s recent short occupation of the Chernobyl exclusion zone may have several long-term impacts on scientific research in the region. Ponsford explains how the zone has served as an internationally important natural laboratory that offers the unique opportunity to understand radiation impacts and study the development ofundisturbed ecosystems. When Russian troops invaded the region, they damaged many of the research labs and facilities, irreversibly harming research efforts. When Ukraine regained control of the exclusion zone in March 2022, research teams slowly began to return to their work, but Ponsford explains that the war has had a substantive negative impact on the region, with fewer people and less money available to support research.