Chornobyl disaster: Emergency response and aftermath
April 26, 2016, marks 30 years since a major man-made disaster, the most tragic in the history of the use of nuclear energy – the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
April 26, 1986, at 1:23 Kyiv time, a reactor in the fourth power unit of Chornobyl nuclear power plant was completely destroyed in a series of thermal explosions. A significant amount of radioactive substances was released into the environment. The accident is regarded the largest of its kind in the history of nuclear energy, both in terms of the number of victims and economic losses.
After the Chornobyl accident, 116,000 people were evacuated from the affected areas, another 230,000 were moved from the affected areas. Among the victims of the accident 167,653 people died, including 2,929 members of the emergency response team. 83% of victims of the Chornobyl disaster, including 92% of emergency response crew are suffering from various diseases.
However, despite the contamination of the area and the ban on permanent residence in the Chornobyl zone, some people returned to their homes, and some even chose to never leave.