Did nuclear testing in the Pacific or Nevada make plants grow differently?



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    Yes. Wherever it has been done, nuclear testing has had an effect on almost all aspects of the environment, including plants. The Bikini Atoll tests of the late 1940s and early 1950s completely annihilated several small islands, plants and all. Studies done in Nevada in the early 1960s found total destruction of vegetation due to heat and blast effects, but, even after the plants came back, the vegetation was markedly different. For one thing, the damage made plant ecosystems susceptible to invasive species such as small grasses that did not previously grow there before. Radiation has a dreadful effect on everything, from plant to human populations. One of the saddest legacies of nuclear testing is not in Nevada or the Pacific, but in Australia, where the British government conducted nuclear tests until 1963. Some areas of Australia, such as Taranaki, are still so contaminated by radiation that they are unfit for human or wildlife habitation for the next 250,000 years. Any plants that do manage to grow there will be subject to stunted growth, mutations and other typical effects of radiation poisoning.

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