Chernobyl, Ukraine

Chernobyl, Ukraine

Site Name: Chernobyl, Ukraine


Pollutant: Radioactive dust including uranium, plutonium, cesium-137, strontium-90, and other metals


Population Affected: Up to 10 million


Site Description:

Chernobyl is internationally recognized as one of the worst nuclear disasters mankind has ever seen. On April 26, 1986, safety tests in the Chernobyl power plant, 62 miles north of Kiev, triggered a massive meltdown of the reactor’s core. Around 150,000 square kilometers of land was affected in the accident. To this day, the 19-mile exclusion zone around the plant remains almost entirely uninhabited. Within seven months, the reactor was buried in a concrete casing designed to absorb radiation and contain the remaining fuel. However, the structure was only created as a temporary solution and designed to last no more than 20-30 years. A second casing is currently under construction. April 2013 marked the 27th anniversary of the meltdown.

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