Chernobyl Facts

Chernobyl Facts
Chernobyl is a town in Ukraine, however when people remember Chernobyl it is usually in reference to the Chernobyl nuclear accident. This nuclear accident in 1986 is considered to be the worst of its kind due to the high number of casualties and the cost. This nuclear disaster occurred on April 26th, 1986, when a power surge during a systems test at reactor four resulted in an explosion and a fire that sent radioactive fallout into the atmosphere. Massive evacuation efforts in the surrounding area ensued, with 45,000 people in nearby Pripyat being immediately evacuated. Many died from radiation exposure and the health of many more has been affected.
Interesting Chernobyl Facts:
Chernobyl is located near the Russian and Belarus borders in Ukraine.
The day before the Chernobyl accident the plant was preparing for a shutdown of reactor four to perform maintenance.
On April 26th, design flaws of the reactor made the shutdown permanent when it blew up.
The explosion created a cascade of fires and explosions that killed two employees at Chernobyl immediately.
Within four months of the explosion 28 employees of Chernobyl died from exposure to radiation, many of them knowing that their efforts to contain the disaster would kill them.
Within 36 hours of the explosion Pripyat, a town of approximately 45,000 people located near Chernobyl, was completely evacuated. People were told they would be able to return in a few days to get their belongings but they were not.
By the time the people of Pripyat were evacuated many were already sick from exposure to radiation. Symptoms included vomiting, headaches, and other unpleasant forms of sickness.
Within three months of the accident 31 people had died from exposure or other factors directly related to the incident.
It is estimated that upwards of 6000 people in Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine will experience thyroid cancer due to the accident.
The number of illnesses and deaths due to the accident at Chernobyl is impossible to prove, as the radiation spread so far that sheep living in northern England had to be killed because they were irradiated. Nuclear rain reached Ireland.
It is estimated that 63,000 square miles of land was adversely affected by the Chernobyl accident. There are approximately 4.5 million people living on land that is still contaminated by the radiation.
More than 350,000 people were eventually relocated due to the radiation effects.
Following the disaster a sarcophagus was built to contain the 200 tons of radioactive material.
Some areas of Chernobyl are now open to tourists who want to see the effects of the disaster.
Only two nuclear disasters have been labeled as a level 7 incident. One was the Chernobyl incident and the other was the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident on March 11th, 2011 which occurred because of a tsunami.
In the area surrounding the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, human habitation will not be safe again for approximately 20,000 years at a minimum.
The radiation released from the Chernobyl accident was 100 times more than the radiation released from the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II.


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