Chernobyl legacy to linger long after most humans have gone
Chernobyl fallout covered the entire Northern Hemisphere
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The explosion at Chernobyl nuclear power plant 26 years ago has so far claimed at least a million lives, and counting. The core meltdown, which occurred on Saturday, April 26, 1986 at reactor No. 4 of the V.I. Lenin Nuclear Power Station, as it was then called, left entire regions in three countries—Ukraine, Russia and Belarus—unlivable.
The long-term consequences of the Chernobyl disaster are still disputed.
Birth defects and cancer were the norm for many years following the Chernobyl disaster. By the time residents of Pripyat, a town located near the plant, were ordered to evacuate, about two days after the Chernobyl core meltdown had occurred, many had already been exposed to varying doses of radiation poisoning.
Consequences of the Catastrophe. Authors Alexey Yablokov (Center for Russian Environmental Policy in Moscow), Vassily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko ( Institute of Radiation Safety, Minsk, Belarus) studied about 5,000 reports and scientific papers mostly published in Slavic languages and compiled their finding in the book “Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment,” which was published last year on the 24th anniversary of the Chernobyl reactor core meltdown.
“For the past 23 years, it has been clear that there is a danger greater than nuclear weapons concealed within nuclear power. Emissions from this one reactor exceeded a hundred-fold the radioactive contamination of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” They wrote.
“No citizen of any country can be assured that he or she can be protected from radioactive contamination. One nuclear reactor can pollute half the globe,” the authors said. “Chernobyl fallout covers the entire Northern Hemisphere.”