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New fears Chernobyl fires could bring even more fallout

Experts fear hotter, drier summers are putting vast areas of contaminated woodland around the nuclear site at risk of large-scale forest fires, which could result in toxic clouds and particles travelling across Europe.

After the 1986 disaster, when one of the four reactors at the Ukrainian power station exploded, vast areas of the continent were hit by radioactive pollution.

It is thought up to five million people were exposed to some sort of health hazard from the catastrophe with cases of cancer still attributed to the incident.

The direct consequences of the accident were felt in Scotland until 2010 when the last of the agricultural restrictions put in place following the catastrophe were lifted.

However, the country could still face contamination from the world's worst nuclear accident if the 1,600-mile exclusion zone around the now defunct power plant goes up in flames.

The forests have been allowed to grow wild and unmanaged since the tragedy almost three decades ago and have continued to absorb contamination still evident in the area.

Raising temperatures and lack of rain have now created a serious risk of a massive blaze, which could rage on for several days and have far-reaching consequences.

Lack of resources mean spotting and putting out flames before they burn out of control is near impossible although a core group of volunteers is trying to do their best.

Scientists in Scotland agree the prospect of redistribution of contaminated particles is "very real".

For the full article us ethe link below... ...

The Express