But how have plants and animals survived and flourished despite the high levels of radiation? It is true, radiation does have real, harmful effects on flora and fauna, and may shorten the lives of individual plants and animals. But if life-sustaining resources are in abundant enough supply and burdens are not fatal, then life will flourish.
According to Science Alert, the burden brought by radiation at Chernobyl is less severe than the benefits reaped from humans leaving the area. The Chernobyl exclusion zone is now “essentially one of Europe’s largest nature preserves, the ecosystem supports more life than before, even if each individual cycle of that life lasts a little less.”
“In a way, the Chernobyl disaster reveals the true extent of our environmental impact on the planet. Harmful as it was, the nuclear accident was far less destructive to the local ecosystem than we were. In driving ourselves away from the area, we have created space for nature to return.”