this day in 1986, a reactor exploded at the Chernobyl nuclear power
station in Ukraine, creating the world’s worst nuclear disaster.
Radioactive smoke was let into the atmosphere which spread across the
Soviet Union and Europe. Thirty-one members of staff and emergency
directly due to the accident, but many others died from diseases - often
cancer - resulting from exposure to radiation. Hundreds of thousands of
eventually had to be evacuated and resettled due to contamination of
areas of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. The disaster raised questions of
the safety of nuclear power and encouraged the Soviet government to
become more open. Only two nuclear accidents have been classified as
level seven on the International Nuclear Event Scale - Chernobyl and the
Fukushima Daiichi disaster of 2011.
“For the first time ever, we have confronted in reality the sinister power of uncontrolled nuclear energy.” - Mikhail Gorbachev
Since the historical nuclear explosion there almost three decades ago on April 26, 1986, scientists have discovered that the human ghost town of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone has become an unexpected sanctuary for wildlife. Using remote cameras, scientists found 14 different mammal species. Here’s why scientists believe the animals are able to thrive there.
30 years after the disaster, explore the ruins of Chernobyl through the eyes of one of its young survivors. FRONTLINE and New York University present “Return to Chernobyl” – an original 360° documentary.
The nuclear polluted zone in Chernobyl has been turned into a tourist site. Tourists can only enter with protective “long clothes”. April 26 marks the 30 anniversary of the nuclear disaster in Ukraine that exposed 3.2 mln people to deadly radiation.
“It’s like a scene from a science fiction movie. The buildings have broken windows and peeling paint, and moss has taken over the streets and buildings. We all suddenly become photographers, documenting the abandoned civilization. A fallen doll and a teddy bear capture what we guess is a moment of panic and the fleeing of one family from the town.”
“I then remember what a professor told me in Kiev: props have been put out for sucker tourists. It feels like a cheap, unnecessary trick — the scene is powerful enough as it is.”