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The Chernobyl disaster in 1986 was an accident at the nearby nuclear power plant that spread radioactive materials across large parts of Europe. Among the substances that were released, the radioactive isotope Cesium-137 (Cs-137) was present. Chernobyl was a small communications hub and an important trading center, especially during the 19th century. The city is located approximately 14.5 kilometers south of the nuclear power plant. At the time of the disaster on April 26, 1986, when reactor four on the outskirts of the city of Pripyat was destroyed, over 180,000 residents were evacuated from the city and other affected areas. Two days later (April 28, 1986), the Swedish Forsmark nuclear power plant detected an accident through the activation of its alarm for increased radioactivity in the surroundings. The Chernobyl disaster affected all countries in Europe, and to this day, it is prohibited to settle in the area. Here are ten facts you may not have known about the event that sparked massive protests across Europe regarding nuclear power plant safety.

People have started moving back…

Despite ongoing radiation leaks from the site of the catastrophe, the eight-hundred-year-old city still exists, albeit barely. Approximately a few hundred people, mostly elderly individuals, have been allowed to remain in their homes in the city and surrounding villages despite the risks. Government workers are attempting to clean up the radioactive material. In 198612,000 people lived in the city; in 2003, around 300 remained. By August 2015550 people were living in Chernobyl. The city still exists as an administrative unit (city) within the Kiev Oblast.

One hundred times more radiation than atomic bombings…

The Ukrainian reactor accident is the only level 7 event on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES), making it the largest man-made disaster in history. The accident resulted in the release of approximately one hundred times more radioactive material compared to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan during World War II.

The Ukrainian reactor accident is the only level 7 event on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES), making it the largest man-made disaster in history. The accident resulted in the release of approximately one hundred times more radioactive material compared to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan during World War II.

800,000 people risked their lives…

In total, over 800,000 people risked their lives to try to mitigate the situation in Chernobyl. Of these, 25,000 have died as a result of radiation exposure, and a staggering 70,000 have been severely affected20% of the deceased individuals took their own lives due to the serious effects of radiation exposure.

Nothing compared to coal-fired power plants, though…

The environmental organization Greenpeace estimates that the Chernobyl accident has led to approximately 93,000 deaths worldwide from cancer. The majority of these cases are in Europe, but cancer cases can be traced as far as Asia back to Chernobyl.

The environmental organization Greenpeace estimates that the Chernobyl accident has led to approximately 93,000 deaths worldwide from cancer. The majority of these cases are in Europe, but cancer cases can be traced as far as Asia back to Chernobyl.

Scammers are everywhere…

As mentioned earlier, some individuals have begun to return to the disaster-stricken city. However, it has been discovered that a minority group has returned solely to take advantage of the state’s financial compensation program for the affected and impacted.

Renovated houses near the previous owners’ names…

Every house and building that has been renovated in the city since the accident has a sign on the outside displaying the name of the previous owner.

More than 5 million people are exposed to radioactivity…

More than 5,000,000 Ukrainian residents live in areas that are still considered dangerous, where radioactivity continues to affect their health.

More than 5,000,000 Ukrainian residents live in areas that are still considered dangerous, where radioactivity continues to affect their health.

Doctors advised abortions…

Many doctors throughout Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union advised pregnant women to undergo abortions to eliminate the chances of having children with deformities, despite the fact that the radiation levels the women were exposed to were too low to cause problems.

Expected more deaths…

Although Greenpeace estimates that approximately 93,000 cancer cases have resulted in death due to the Chernobyl accident, it is significantly fewer than what researchers and doctors had anticipated. They believed that nearly three times more deaths would occur from cancer. However, Greenpeace predicts that an additional 60,000 cases of thyroid cancer in humans will occur due to the radioactive releases.

Although Greenpeace estimates that approximately 93,000 cancer cases have resulted in death due to the Chernobyl accident, it is significantly fewer than what researchers and doctors had anticipated. They believed that nearly three times more deaths would occur from cancer. However, Greenpeace predicts that an additional 60,000 cases of thyroid cancer in humans will occur due to the radioactive releases.

100 years until the area should be clean again…

There are still 200 tons of radioactive material remaining in Chernobyl, and the last reactor was shut down as recently as 2000. It is estimated that it will take approximately 100 years for all the radioactive material to be removed from the area.


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