Home » Science » Biological Sciences » Fungi are growing on the walls of Chernobyl’s ruined nuclear reactor. They seem to absorb radiation and convert it into chemical energy for growth.

Fungi are growing on the walls of Chernobyl’s ruined nuclear reactor. They seem to absorb radiation and convert it into chemical energy for growth.

Fungi That ‘Eat’ Radiation Are Growing on the Walls of Chernobyl’s Ruined Nuclear Reactor

In the eerie environment inside the abandoned Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, researchers remotely piloting robots spotted pitch black fungi growing on the walls of the decimated No. 4 nuclear reactor and even apparently breaking down radioactive graphite from the core itself. What’s more, the fungi seemed to be growing towards sources of radiation, as if the microbes were attracted to them!

More than a decade later, University of Saskatchewan Professor Ekaterina Dadachova (then at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York) and her colleagues acquired some of the fungi and found that they grew faster in the presence of radiation compared to other fungi. The three species tested, Cladosporium sphaerospermum, Cryptococcus neoform… Continue Reading (2 minute read)

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