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Chernobyl disaster: how radiation affected the UK, and which parts of Britain are most radioactive today  

Background radiation levels are much higher in some parts of the UK than in others,   

The poisonous radiation that spewed into the atmosphere drifted over to Western Europe, causing a spike in radiation-related diseases and deaths in the years following the disaster.

How was the UK affected by Chernobyl?

In the immediate aftermath of the accident, the UK government banned the sale of sheep across thousands of farms on the basis that the animals had likely ingested radioactive material from fallout absorbed by plants.

In June of the same year, almost 9,000 British farms were affected by restrictions brought in on the movement and sale of sheep meat. This meant livestock had to be scanned by government officials before they were allowed to enter the food chain.

Parts of Cumbria, Scotland and Northern Ireland were impacted, and North Wales was hardest hit, with sheep in Wales still failing radioactive tests 10 years after the accident in 1996.

The last restrictions on the movement and sale of sheep in the UK were lifted in 2012, 26 years after the meltdown.

There have also been some studies linking increased incidences of infant leukaemia in Britain to the Chernobyl disaster but results are not conclusive.

Which parts of the UK are most radioactive?

Most of the background radiation present in the UK today comes from radon rather than fallout from Chernobyl.

Radon is an odourless, colourless gas formed by the radioactive decay of the small amounts of uranium that occur naturally in all rocks and soils.

Due to the variations in terrain across the UK, this means that some areas nationwide have far higher levels of background radiation than others…….

June 10, 2019 - Posted by | environment, UK

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