Today Ukraine marks 20th anniversary of Chornobyl nuclear disaster

10:46, 26 April 2006
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The world’s worst ecological catastrophe happened at 01.23 a.m. on 26 April 1986, when the fourth reactor of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant exploded, spewing radioactive fallout over swathes of the then-USSR and Europe.

Today Ukraine marks the 20th anniversary of the world`s worst nuclear disaster at the Chernobyl power plant.

The world’s worst ecological catastrophe happened at 01.23 a.m. on 26 April 1986, when the fourth reactor of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant exploded, spewing radioactive fallout over swathes of the then-USSR and Europe.

At first, the leadership of the Soviet Ukraine and USSR tried to hush up the scale of the tragedy, however, after American and European mass media had reported about the Chornobyl catastrophe, they had to evacuate nearly 130 thousand residents of the Kyiv Oblast from the districts, contaminated with the radiation. Nearly 600 thousand people were exposed to the radiation, first of all, the liquidators of the catastrophe (firemen, military men, specialists who extinguished the fire and built a confinement over the fourth reactor of the Chornobyl NPP – the sarcophagus).

Nearly 5 million hectares of lands were withdrawn from use as agricultural lands. A 30-kilometers alienation zone was created around the Chornobyl nuclear power plant.

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