Difference between revisions of "Chernobyl"

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[[Image:Chornobyl radiation96.jpg|200px|right|thumb|Radiation-affected areas from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant as of 1996]]
 
[[Image:Chornobyl radiation96.jpg|200px|right|thumb|Radiation-affected areas from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant as of 1996]]
In April 1986, Chernobyl (Chornobyl in Ukrainian) was an obscure city on the Pripiat River in north-central [[Ukraine]]. Almost incidentally, its name was attached to the V.I. [[Lenin]] Nuclear Power Plant located about twenty-five kilometers upstream.  
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In April 1986, '''Chernobyl''' (Chornobyl in Ukrainian) was an obscure city on the Pripiat River in north-central [[Ukraine]]. Almost incidentally, its name was attached to the V.I. [[Lenin]] Nuclear Power Plant located about twenty-five kilometers upstream.  
  
 
On April 26, the city's anonymity vanished forever when, during a test at 1:21 A.M., the No. 4 reactor exploded and released thirty to forty times the radioactivity of the [[atomic bomb]]s dropped on [[Hiroshima]] and [[Nagasaki]]. Thirty- one lives were lost immediately. The world first learned of history's worst nuclear accident from [[Sweden]], where abnormal radiation levels were registered at one of its nuclear facilities.  
 
On April 26, the city's anonymity vanished forever when, during a test at 1:21 A.M., the No. 4 reactor exploded and released thirty to forty times the radioactivity of the [[atomic bomb]]s dropped on [[Hiroshima]] and [[Nagasaki]]. Thirty- one lives were lost immediately. The world first learned of history's worst nuclear accident from [[Sweden]], where abnormal radiation levels were registered at one of its nuclear facilities.  

Revision as of 18:09, 12 November 2007

Radiation-affected areas from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant as of 1996

In April 1986, Chernobyl (Chornobyl in Ukrainian) was an obscure city on the Pripiat River in north-central Ukraine. Almost incidentally, its name was attached to the V.I. Lenin Nuclear Power Plant located about twenty-five kilometers upstream.

On April 26, the city's anonymity vanished forever when, during a test at 1:21 A.M., the No. 4 reactor exploded and released thirty to forty times the radioactivity of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Thirty- one lives were lost immediately. The world first learned of history's worst nuclear accident from Sweden, where abnormal radiation levels were registered at one of its nuclear facilities.

Though hardly ranking as one of the greatest industrial accidents of all time, the impact of Chernobyl disaster was wildly exaggerated. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians, Russians, and Belorussians were forced to abandon entire cities and settlements within the thirty-kilometer zone of extreme contamination. Billions of rubles have been spent to relocate communities and decontaminate the rich farmland.

The biggest documented health problem has been depression due to people fearing the worst of predictions. [1]

Estimates vary, but it is likely that some 3 million people, more than 2 million in Belarus alone, are still living in contaminated areas. The city of Chernobyl is still inhabited by almost 10,000 people.

Chernobyl has become a metaphor not only for the horror of uncontrolled nuclear power but also for the collapsing Soviet system and its reflexive secrecy and deception, disregard for the safety and welfare of workers and their families, and inability to deliver basic services such as health care and transportation, especially in crisis situations. The Chernobyl catastrophe derailed what had been an ambitious nuclear power program and formed a fledgling environmental movement into a potent political force in Russia as well as a rallying point for achieving Ukrainian and Belorussian independence in 1991. The Chernobyl plant was in partial operation since the accident until fully shut down in 1993.

Notes

  1. Alongside radiation-induced deaths and diseases, the report labels the mental health impact of Chernobyl as “the largest public health problem created by the accident” and partially attributes this damaging psychological impact to a lack of accurate information. These problems manifest as negative self-assessments of health, belief in a shortened life expectancy, lack of initiative, and dependency on assistance from the state. Chernobyl: the true scale of the accident

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