Thursday, February 26, 2015

The radioactive forest

"On November 2’2, 1961, a new research facility was put into operation at BNL. Called The Gamma Forest, the facility is the newest project in the Biology Department’s radiobotany program. Nuclear test explosions and waste disposal of radioisotopes have introduced into the environment substantially higher levels of ionizing radiation than have normally been present throughout the evolution of life. The presence of these higher levels of radiation - and the fact that man has the ability to increase them further, at least locally, by enormous factors - has stimulated many studies, at Brookhaven and elsewhere, of the effects of radiation on the earth’s organisms. Investigations of the deposition of radioactive debris on the earth’s surface have shown that it is carried by winds into the middle latitudes of both hemispheres where it is brought to earth in rain and snow." 

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