HistoryWorld

Chernobyl – key facts about the disaster

Chernobyl – key facts about the disaster
It takes approx. 4 minutes to read this article

Chernobyl was an extremely tragic disaster, the effects of which can still be felt today. It is recorded in history as the world’s worst nuclear accident caused by human error. Check out the most surprising facts about this disaster.

Key facts about the Chernobyl disaster

  • The Chernobyl disaster has been called the biggest natural disaster in the world since Hiroshima. on April 26, 1986, an explosion and fire occurred at the Chernobyl power plant. The tragedy was caused by a violation of safety regulations – operators shut down important control systems at Ukraine’s number four reactor, thus creating unstable and dangerous conditions. It was human error that led to the uncontrolled explosion and subsequent ignition of the nuclear reactor.
  • The effects of the Chernobyl explosion were lamentable – nuclear rain fell as far west as Ireland. There were also many more cases of thyroid cancer after this disaster. Pregnant women also had an increased risk of the cloud from the explosion at the reactor affecting their unborn children. After this disaster, many children were born with cardiovascular and other conditions. Animals that were near the nuclear reactor also suffered. Scientists found that birds near Chernobyl had much smaller brains than those living in non-irradiated areas.
  • The Chernobyl explosion had a long-lasting impact on the health and lives of residents. Although many years have passed since the disaster, these areas are still desolate. Pripyat, adjacent to Chernobyl, is to this day referred to as a “ghost town.” Residents have never returned to their former homes, from which they were evacuated on the day of the disaster. Although a “sarcophagus” was built over the reactor six months after the explosion, the area is not safe and residents there still cannot return. “Sarcophagus” was intended to encompass the damaged reactor, as well as protect the environment from the radiation that has been negatively affecting us.
  • An interesting fact is that Belarus, not Ukraine, had the most pollution after the Chernobyl reactor explosion. As much as 70% of the pollution fell on this country.
  • On the front line after the Chernobyl reactor explosion were the firefighters who extinguished the still smoldering reactor. Unfortunately, they were not informed of the dangers of air pollution. Most were heavily irradiated and died within days of the explosion.
  • Many people feel somewhat safer now that the Chernobyl reactor exploded more than 30 years ago. However, scientists say it could take up to 100 years before the reactor is completely decommissioned. In part, residents are protected from radiation by a “sarcophagus” built right above the reactor. Many opponents of nuclear energy point to the Chernobyl tragedy as an argument not to invest in nuclear reactors and not to use them for energy production
  • To better shield the Chernobyl reactor, it has been inside a steel structure since 2016. All the while, emissions from the reactor are monitored, and cleanup will continue until at least 2065.
  • Although the people from the Chernobyl area are not returning to their former land, life has flourished anew in these areas. There has been a steady increase in animals, including birds, after the disaster. Up to 60 different mammals can now be identified in Chernobyl.
The Infographics Show – What Caused the Catastrophic Nuclear Accident in Chernobyl?

Tours to Chernobyl

Despite the massive contamination, there are many people who are very eager to visit Chernobyl. The ghost town is a destination for thrill seekers. Tour companies also make money on trips for tourists who want to explore the unusual flora and fauna of the Chernobyl area. With no population in the area, nature has begun to flourish on an unprecedented scale. Wild boars, deer and elk quickly returned.

Photo Денис Резник/Pixabay

Add comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

15 + seventeen =