Ukraine marks the 35th anniversary of the Chornobyl disaster on April 26.
Nuclear reactor explosion
Chornobyl nuclear power unit No. 4 exploded on that day, 35 years ago. There were two blasts with an interval of two seconds.
Several hundred workers and firefighters had been trying to put out the fire for many days. The nuclear reactor was completely destroyed by the explosion, while a cloud of radioactive dust penetrated the atmosphere.
Read also"Big Construction" program to clear access to Chornobyl exclusion zone – officialTo prevent further radioactive leaks, in late 1986 the reactor was covered with a special "sarcophagus" and the Chornobyl nuclear power plant (NPP) was put back into operation. However, large fires in the following few years led to the shutdown of nuclear power units No. 1 and No. 2. In 2000, nuclear power unit No. 3 was shut down, so the Chornobyl NPP was completely halted.
In November 2016, they started to build a new sarcophagus over nuclear power unit No. 4, and it was commissioned in 2019.
Victims and consequences of Chornobyl disaster
The accident at the Chornobyl NPP led to irreparable health, economic, social, and humanitarian losses.
Many radioactive substances penetrated into the environment. The total radiation level of isotopes released into the air was 50 million curies, which is 96.7%-97.5% more than from the explosion of a bomb in Hiroshima in 1945.
It is still difficult to determine the scale of the disaster and its impact on human health. Thirty employees of the nuclear power plant died as a result of the explosion or acute radiation sickness within the next few months after the day of the accident. Hundreds of thousands of people died from cancer alone, which had developed as a result of exposure to radiation.
It has been 35 years since the accident at the Chornobyl NPP, but its consequences remain on the agenda of the global scientific community. A 30-kilometer exclusion zone has been created around the Chornobyl nuclear power plant.
Chornobyl Disaster Remembrance Day
April 26 is the day to commemorate victims of the largest human-made disaster and honor Chornobyl nuclear power plant personnel, firefighters, military personnel, builders, scientists, healthcare workers who took part in the elimination of the consequences of the disaster.
In December 2016, the UN General Assembly proclaimed April 26 as International Chornobyl Disaster Remembrance Day.
Commemorative events usually take place in Ukraine on this day: people lay flowers to the respective monuments, hold memorial services, arrange thematic exhibitions, as well as meetings with cleanup workers and citizens affected by the disaster.