Friday, May 18, 2012

The Chernobyl Disaster: 25 Years Ago

Vika Chervinska, an eight-year-old Ukrainian girl suffering from cancer waits to receive treatment with her mother at the children's hospital in Kiev Tuesday, April 18, 2006. Greenpeace stated in a 2006 report that more than 90,000 people were likely to die of cancers caused by radiation from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, countering an earlier United Nations report that predicted the death toll would be around 4,000. The differing conclusions underline the contentious uncertainty that remains about the health effects of the world's worst nuclear accident as its 25th anniversary approaches. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

The Chernobyl Disaster: 25 Years Ago - In Focus - The Atlantic
MAR 23, 2011 [39 photos]

The 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster is next month. On April 26, 1986, a series of explosions destroyed Chernobyl's reactor No. 4 station and several hundred staff and firefighters tackled a blaze that burned for 10 days and sent a plume of radiation around the world in the worst-ever civil nuclear disaster. More than 50 reactor and emergency workers were killed at the time. Assessing the larger impact on human health remains a difficult task, with estimates of related deaths from cancer ranging from 4,000 to over 200,000. The government of Ukraine indicated early this year that it will lift restrictions on tourism around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, formally opening the scene to visitors. It's expected, meanwhile, that a 20,000-ton steel case called the New Safe Confinement (NSC), designed as a permanent containment structure for the whole plant, will be completed in 2013.

Kiev Ukraine News Blog

KIEV, Ukraine —
"The first advice we got after the Chernobyl explosion was to take a daily drop of iodine on a sugar cube. We heard it on the Voice of America broadcasts we listened to clandestinely..."

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