The accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is the most powerful technological disaster on Earth. It is difficult to overestimate its negative consequences for nature and people. Humanity feels the echoes of that terrible accident even now – almost 30 years after the explosion at the nuclear power plant.
Radiation, like from 500 atomic bombs of 50 million curies, is such a general output of radioactive materials. This sum is equal to the consequences of the explosion of 500 atomic bombs that the US military dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. A column of smoke from combustion products reached several meters in height. 90% of the Chernobyl nuclear fuel was in the atmosphere of the Earth.
The fire at the nuclear power plant was extinguished by more than 100 firefighters from the satellite city of Pripyat. It was these people who had to take on the largest dose of radiation. According to Soviet data, 31 people were killed during the fire.
The fire was also extinguished using helicopters. Sand and clay were dumped from them onto the reactor, as well as special mixtures for extinguishing and preventing a chain reaction. Then no one knew that all these actions could have increased the temperature of the flaming reactor even more. It was only possible to cope with the fire on May 9th.
Immediately after the accident
Most of the inhabitants of Pripyat learned about the accident only in the middle of the day on April 26. While people lived their former lives, radiation spread at lightning speed with the help of wind.
The total area of the infected Ukrainian territory is 50 thousand square kilometers in 12 regions of the country. In addition, the Chernobyl disaster made 150 thousand square kilometers around the station unsuitable for living.
The entire population of Pripyat, 47,500 people, had to leave the city the day after the accident. But about 300 residents wanted to return home after a month. The territory where they settled was then called the Zone of Alienation. Relatives were not allowed to the people living on this land for 20 years.
250 thousand people in total were evacuated before the end of 1986 from the exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. But the exact number of victims of a terrible technological accident is still unknown. According to various sources, this is from several thousand to 100 thousand people. The consequences of the accident will continue to affect the genetic level for a long time.
The first dead from radiation sickness
Radiation sickness was found in 134 people present at the emergency unit in the first day after the explosion. Within a month, 28 of them died.
Altogether, 8.4 million inhabitants, not only of Ukraine, but also of Belarus and Russia, were exposed to radiation.
The victims of the explosion
The unambiguous death toll from the aftermath of the explosion is still unknown. According to various sources, this is from 4 to 10 thousand people.
Who eliminated ?
About 600 thousand people from all over the USSR took part in the aftermath of the disaster.
The issue of non-proliferation of radiation is still an acute issue. To do this, they are going to build a new sarcophagus over the 4th power unit. Donor countries pledged money for the construction. In particular, Canada promised to allocate $ 7 million for this purpose.
Will there be another Chernobyl ?
To this day, 11 rectors of the Chernobyl type are operating in the Russian Federation: 4 blocks each at the Leningrad and Kursk and 3 blocks at the Smolensk NPP. But over the past 20 years, such changes have been introduced into their work that exclude the possibility of a repetition of the disaster. A similar opinion is shared by international experts.
Chernobyl – tourist mecca
In recent years, the abandoned city of Pripyat and the reactor have become a kind of Mecca for extreme tourists. Travelers to this zone are accompanied by the so-called stalkers. They offer to look at abandoned houses, schools, hotels. But the sarcophagus itself and thousands of vehicles abandoned at the scene of the accident can only be seen from a distance. Trucks, armored vehicles and helicopters are so badly contaminated by radiation that it is still risky to approach them. Also, tourists will meet with the dwellers – elderly residents of villages located in the Exclusion Zone. These people returned to their land, contrary to the ban of the authorities and managed to adapt to the new conditions. The cost of the tour is about 350 dollars.
For some time after the Chernobyl accident, two units continued to operate. They were served by several hundred workers and engineers. For them, as well as for other employees of the nuclear power plant who lost their jobs and housing after the accident, the authorities were forced to build a new city – Slavutich. Now it is the youngest settlement in Ukraine. And the favorite joke of its inhabitants is the phrase: “Life is beautiful, but very short!”
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