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Chernobyl 25 Years On

Various Photographers

 

On 26 April 1986 an explosion occurred at Unit 4 of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Ukrainian SSR, now Ukraine, causing a subsequent fire to raged through the building. Large quantities of radioactive contamination went into the atmosphere and spread over much of Western Russia and Europe. Nearby villages as well as a 30 km zone around the damaged plant had to evacuate as radiation levels reached lethal levels. Although two workers died a result of the initial explosion 28 firemen and emergency clean-up workers lost their lives as a result of acute radiation sickness and one of cardiac arrest in the three month that follow the accident. According to estimations 25 metric tons of liquid nitrogen per day would be needed in order to cool the reactor. Eventually the responsible authorities would decide to fill it with concrete.

 

26 April 2011 marks the 25th anniversary of the disaster.