chernobyl disaster the worst man-made disaster in human history
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Chernobyl Chernobyl disasterdisaster
The worst man-made The worst man-made disaster disaster
in human historyin human history
The nuclear power The nuclear power stationstation
Chernobyl is located on the Chernobyl is located on the border area between border area between Ukraine andUkraine andBelarus.Belarus.
The Chornobyl nuclear The Chornobyl nuclear power station was built power station was built in 1978-1979.in 1978-1979.
The ExplosionThe Explosion
In the early morning In the early morning hours of 26 April 1986, hours of 26 April 1986, a testing error caused a testing error caused an explosion at the an explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear Chernobyl nuclear power station.power station.
Radioactive falloutRadioactive fallout
The explosion released The explosion released 190 tons of radioactive 190 tons of radioactive gases into the gases into the atmosphere.atmosphere.
Radioactive fallout Radioactive fallout scattered over much scattered over much of the northern of the northern hemisphere via wind hemisphere via wind and storm patterns. and storm patterns.
70% of the radioactive 70% of the radioactive material was blown into material was blown into the neighboring country the neighboring country of Belarus.of Belarus.
In all 150,000 square In all 150,000 square kilometres in Belarus, kilometres in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine Russia and Ukraine were contaminated. were contaminated.
7 million people living in 7 million people living in these areas were exposed these areas were exposed to the radiation fallout. to the radiation fallout.
The evacuationThe evacuation
The morning after the The morning after the explosion, there was no explosion, there was no hint of a disaster. hint of a disaster.
Children went to Children went to school and played school and played outside. outside.
Gardeners worked on Gardeners worked on their plots outdoors.their plots outdoors.
Even weddings took Even weddings took place that Saturday place that Saturday night.night.
Only on the second day Only on the second day after the disaster (after after the disaster (after 36 hours) did the36 hours) did the Soviet Soviet authorities start authorities start evacuating people from evacuating people from the area around the area around Chernobyl.Chernobyl.
In total some 200,0000 In total some 200,0000 people are believed to people are believed to have been relocated as a have been relocated as a result of the accident. result of the accident.
3 million of those 3 million of those evacuated were children.evacuated were children.
The Human The Human CasualtiesCasualties
The immediate The immediate impact impact
The immediate casualties The immediate casualties were operators, rescue were operators, rescue workers, firefighters and workers, firefighters and soldiers involved in the soldiers involved in the clean up operations.clean up operations.
31 emergency clean-up 31 emergency clean-up people workers died in people workers died in 3 months of radiation 3 months of radiation poisoning.poisoning.
1134 emergency workers 34 emergency workers suffered from acute suffered from acute radiation sickness.radiation sickness.
25,000 of the rescue 25,000 of the rescue workersworkers later later died from died from diseases caused by diseases caused by radiation.radiation.
Diseases caused by Diseases caused by radiation included:radiation included:- lung cancer, - lung cancer,
- leukemia, leukemia,
- cardiovascular cardiovascular disease.disease.
Long term Long term exposureexposure
Eight years after the Eight years after the accident 8,000 people accident 8,000 people had died from diseases had died from diseases due to radiation. due to radiation.
To date medical To date medical statistics reported statistics reported 270,000 cancers (mostly 270,000 cancers (mostly thyroid) caused by the thyroid) caused by the Chernobyl disaster. Chernobyl disaster.
Of these 93,000 of these Of these 93,000 of these cancer cases were fatal. cancer cases were fatal.
There have been at least There have been at least 1800 documented cases 1800 documented cases of thyroid cancer in of thyroid cancer in children. children.
In region of Belarus, In region of Belarus, incidence ofincidence of
leukemia has increased leukemia has increased 50% in50% in
children and adults. children and adults.
Maternal exposure to Maternal exposure to radiation caused an radiation caused an increased rate of:increased rate of: - birth defects, - birth defects, - miscarriages, - miscarriages, - and stillbirths- and stillbirths
Environmental Environmental ImpactImpact
Areas still impacted Areas still impacted today:today:
- soil- soil
- water- water- airair- crops and foodcrops and food- livestocklivestock
20% of prime farmland in 20% of prime farmland in BelarusBelarus
remains contaminated remains contaminated from thefrom the
decaying components ofdecaying components of
Radiation is Radiation is concentrated inconcentrated in
sediments at the bottoms sediments at the bottoms of lakesof lakes
and ponds. and ponds.
Still the population Still the population continues to continues to contaminate itself by contaminate itself by fishing there. fishing there.
Livestock such as Livestock such as cattle and goats cattle and goats accumulate accumulate radioactivity in their radioactivity in their meat and milk.meat and milk.
The food and water supply The food and water supply isis
continuously contaminated continuously contaminated byby
rainfall and by the rainfall and by the movement ofmovement of
radioactive dust. radioactive dust.
Problems TodayProblems Today
After the disaster, a huge After the disaster, a huge cement box cement box (sarcophagus) was (sarcophagus) was hastily built around the hastily built around the radioactive material.radioactive material.
According to a 2003 report According to a 2003 report by the Russian Atomic by the Russian Atomic Energy Ministry, "Energy Ministry, "the the concrete shell surrounding concrete shell surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear the Chernobyl nuclear reactor was in real danger reactor was in real danger of collapsing at any timeof collapsing at any time."."
A new shelter - a 1.3 A new shelter - a 1.3 million euro million euro
project was completed in project was completed in 2009. 2009.
It is hoped to safely It is hoped to safely contain the nuclear contain the nuclear material for the next material for the next 100 years.100 years.
97% of the radioactive 97% of the radioactive materialsmaterials
from the Chernobyl plant from the Chernobyl plant stillstill
remains inside this remains inside this sarcophagus. sarcophagus.
Even if the people are Even if the people are aware of the danger aware of the danger many have returned to many have returned to live in their old homes. live in their old homes.
Today 5.5 million people Today 5.5 million people still live in contaminated still live in contaminated areas. areas.
They They continue to be continue to be exposed to low doses of exposed to low doses of radiation for decades to radiation for decades to come.come.