Chernobyl: 38 Years from the World's Worst Nuclear Disaster

World |Author: Diana Kavardzhikova | April 26, 2024, Friday // 10:11|  views


On April 26, 1986, the world witnessed a catastrophic event that would leave an indelible mark on history. In the heart of Ukraine, then part of the Soviet Union, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant became the epicenter of a tragedy that would reverberate for decades to come.

It was in the early hours of that fateful Saturday when reactor number four of the Chernobyl plant experienced a catastrophic explosion. The blast, equivalent to the force of three Boeing 747s, tore through the facility, dislodging the massive steel cover and igniting an uncontrollable fire. The engineers at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant were conducting a test to see what would happen in a power outage. They wanted to understand the reactor's response in case of electricity loss. However, during the test, a series of errors and misjudgments led to a drastic chain of events that resulted in the catastrophic explosion of reactor number four.

The immediate aftermath was one of chaos and panic. Within hours, the nearby city of Pripyat, built for the plant's workers and their families, was evacuated, displacing over 200,000 people. The scale of the disaster became apparent as radiation levels soared, spreading fear and uncertainty across Europe

In the days that followed, brave "liquidators" were dispatched to contain the crisis. These courageous workers, including firefighters and miners, faced perilous levels of radiation as they battled to prevent further catastrophe. Their sacrifices would come at a heavy cost, as many suffered severe health problems in the years that followed.

As per a 2006 report by Greenpeace, the Chernobyl disaster led to more than 250,000 cancer cases, with nearly 100,000 resulting in fatalities. In 2011, the Union of Concerned Scientists, a non-governmental organization, estimated the death toll from Chernobyl to be around 25,000 – six times higher than the UN's projection. Additionally, the International Agency for Research on Cancer predicts that the incident will cause the deaths of 16,000 Europeans by 2065.

After the disaster, the Soviet Union tried to hide it, but soon, other nations noticed the unusual radiation levels. Monitoring stations in Europe, including Bulgaria, detected the radiation spread. Officials demanded answers from Moscow, leading to the Soviet Union admitted to the Chernobyl accident. This caused global outrage and had significant political and economic consequences. Subsequently, the Soviet Union faced immense pressure and underwent major changes.

We need your support so can keep delivering news and information about Bulgaria! Thank you!

Tags: Chernobyl, radiation, accident, Soviet


» Related Articles: