The Worst Nuclear Disaster the World Has Ever Seen
When discussing nuclear energy, disasters such as the one at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Pripyat, Ukraine (formerly of the USSR), is never far out of mind.
On April 26, 1986, a series of explosions during a systems test caused a rupture in a reactor vessel that led to a massive plume of radioactive fallout, 60% of which landed in Belarus but much of which traveled across the Soviet Union and Europe. About 64 people died as a directly result, with over 530,000 emergency workers being exposed to extreme levels of radiation and some 350,400 people evacuated and resettled over time.
Today, there’s a 30 km exclusion zone around the site, and the full extent of the damage caused by radiation in flora and fauna across Europe is still unknown. Experts estimate that, over time, deaths directly related to the meltdown could reach 4,000.
30 years after the disaster, Pripyat remains a ghost town, with the haunting giant of Chernobyl always looming on the horizon. As the initial, 7,300-ton sarcophagus built to contain radioactive contamination continues to deteriorate over time, new plans to confine the dangerous area remind us all of the horrifying incident and everything that went wrong that fateful day.
These facts about the Chernobyl disaster will make you glad you don’t live anywhere near it, even 30 years later…
10. Three Brave Souls
During the meltdown, 3 volunteers dove into a radioactive pool to open a pipe. They died but prevented an explosion 10X bigger than Hiroshima.
9. The Dead
Levels of radiation were so high that the dead were placed in lead coffins. Those cleaning the site could only work safely for 40 seconds, even in radiation suits.