What happens to nature after a nuclear accident? And how does wildlife deal with the world it inherits after human inhabitants have fled?
In 1986 a nuclear meltdown at the infamous Chernobyl power plant in present-day Ukraine left miles of land in radioactive ruins. Residents living in areas most contaminated by the disaster were evacuated and relocated by government order, and a no-man’s land of our own making was left to its own devices. In the ensuing 25 years, forests, marshes, fields and rivers reclaimed the land, reversing the effects of hundreds of years of human development. And surprisingly, this exclusion zone, or “dead zone,” has become a kind of post-nuclear Eden, populated by beaver and bison, horses and birds, fish and falcons – and ruled by wolves.
Access to the zone is now permitted, at least on a limited basis, and scientists are monitoring the surviving wildlife in the area, trying to learn how the various species are coping with the invisible blight of radiation. As the top predators in this new wilderness, wolves best reflect the condition of the entire ecosystem because if the wolves are doing well, the populations of their prey must also be doing well. Accordingly, a key long-term study of the wolves has been initiated to determine their health, their range, and their numbers.
Radioactive Wolves examines the state of wildlife populations in Chernobyl’s exclusion zone, an area that, to this day, remains too radioactive for human habitation.
Radioactive Wolves premiered Wednesday, October 19 at 8/7 c.
Production Credits Print
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
CAMERA ASSISTANTS AND SOUND RECORDERS
ONLINE AND ASSISTANT EDITOR
MUSIC COMPOSED BY
CHRISTOPH AND BARBARA PROMBERGER
DR. SERGEY KUTCHMEL
DENIS A. WYSHNEVSKY
GENNADY G. VERESHCHAKO
GENNADY W. ANTSIPOV
EDUARD M. ZIRASH
MIKOLA I. PROSKURA
INNA S. YURTCHENKO
MINISTRY OF DISASTER PREVENTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS
STATE DEPARTMENT OF BELARUS
EMBASSY OF THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS IN BERLIN
RADIO-ECOLOGICAL NATIONAL PARK POLESSYE
CHERNOBYL INTERINFORM, UKRAINE
BELARUSIAN NATIONAL FILM ARCHIVE DJERDJNISK
NATIONAL BROADCASTING CORPORATION OF BELARUS
NATIONAL CINEMA STUDIOS OF BELARUS
ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS
CHERNOBYL RADIO-ECOLOGICAL CENTER, UKRAINE
© ORF/epo-film 2011
All rights reserved
JULIE SCHAPIRO THORMAN
STACEY DOUGLASS MOVERLEY
A co-production of epo-film, ORF/UNIVERSUM and THIRTEEN in association with NDR and WNET New York Public Media
This program was produced by THIRTEEN, which is solely responsible for its content
© 2011 THIRTEEN
All rights reserved
DANIEL B. GREENBERG