Chernobyl: Haunting Reminder of Nuclear Power’s Dark Side

Chernobyl
Chernobyl  Photo credit:  NOAA.gov (PDF)

When an explosion tore through a reactor in present-day Ukraine 30 years ago, it triggered the worst nuclear disaster in history. While officials in the former Soviet Union took frantic action, the rest of the world did not learn of the catastrophe for two days.

Even three decades later, it is impossible to determine the true impact of the released radiation on the health of the local population and environment.

A huge area, roughly the size of Rhode Island, remains sealed off to the public. However, there is activity in that zone: Hundreds of workers, who are carefully monitored for overexposure to radiation, are building a second containment unit near the reactor. This gigantic structure, scheduled to be completed next year, will be pushed over the smaller shell that currently limits the amount of radiation escaping from the reactor.

“Only” 30 workers were either killed by the explosion or soon thereafter from exposure to massive amounts of radiation. But the World Health Organization estimates that nearly 10,000 will eventually die of cancers related to the disaster. The international environmental group Greenpeace believes that the number of victims will ultimately be ten times higher.

The haunting footage in the following video provides a rare glimpse of the vast area around the reactor that is now deserted and will remain abandoned for the foreseeable future.

Related front page panorama photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from Chernobyl site (RT / YouTube)

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2 responses to “Chernobyl: Haunting Reminder of Nuclear Power’s Dark Side”

  1. Lincoln says:

    April 2, 2016 Your Radiation This Week No 47, 48, 49 and 50

    March 5 to April 2, 2016 (San Francisco) April 2, 2016 – Good Day, this is “Your Radiation This Week.” These are the Top Fifteen (15) Recorded Radiation Highs that affected people for the past four weeks around the United States.

  2. 0040 says:

    Bob Scheer reposted the article he wrote in 1987 when he was allowed to visit Chernobyl . His report is too optimistic by half as it turned out. There is a wonderful not made in America documentary on You Tube about the last hours of Chernobyl and the lingering effects, worth screening. Now that the site is in Ukraine which is bankrupt , no real attempts at clean-up are happening.

  3. rms says:

    Chernobyl was a dangerous design operated by incompetent people. It is hardly a “reminder of …. dark side”.

    • russbaker says:

      Oh, right. So, lets assume that nobody else is incompetent or could generate a “dangerous design.” And lets assume you live in the shadow of one of these plants.