September 1, 2010
On 26 April 1986, the worst nuclear accident in history occurred at the Chernobyl power station in the former Soviet Union.
"The benefit of excluding humans from this highly contaminated ecosystem appears to outweigh significantly any negative cost associated with Chernobyl radiation," said Robert Baker, a biologist at Texas Tech University, who has made more than a dozen scientific excursions into the zone. Baker believes that the diversity of animals and plants within the zone is what could be reasonably expected to be seen in a nature park dedicated to conservation. Indeed, there have been calls to turn the Chernobyl exclusion zone into what would become Europe's largest nature reserve.