Portsmouth professor hunting for mutant fish in Chernobyl waters

Portsmouth university criminologist becomes chairman of The Security Institute

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THE HUNT is on for mutant fish in the waterways around Chernobyl, 26 years after the nuclear disaster which devastated the area.

Portsmouth University Professor Jim Smith will lead a search for mutated aquatic life despite the recorded lack of three-eyed fish in the region’s lakes and rivers.

Prof Smith said: ‘Surprisingly, the aquatic ecosystem appears to be thriving in these lakes, even in the cooling reservoir right next to the power plant.

‘This project will give us the opportunity to see if we can find any more subtle effects of radiation such as changes in gene expression or damage to reproductive organs.’

Team member Dr Alex Ford said the study could help understanding of other nuclear disasters. He said: ‘We hope our studies of the long term effects of Chernobyl will help us understand what the future impacts of Fukushima might be.’

The study has a budget of £500,000.