A £1.2 billion super-structure is to be built over the Chernobyl nuclear wasteland preventing radiation from escaping for the next century. On April 26 1986, nearly 30 years ago to the day, the world witnessed the worst nuclear accident in its history. A power failure simulation led to an explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the town of Pripyat, then in Ukraine SSR, part of the Soviet Union. The accident is one of only two level seven disasters – the maximum classification – ever given by the International Nuclear Event Scale. The other is Fukushima. The catastrophe directly claimed the lives of 31 people. Roughly 50,000 residents of the nearby town of Prip yat, where the workers were housed, were hastily evacuated. But in the ensuing clean-up hundreds of thousands of people were exposed to deadly radiation, thought to have contributed to a host of illnesses people later developed, such as cancer. In addition, the explosion spewed nuclear particles into the atmosphere, and a potentially deadly cloud swept over much of the Western USSR and Europe. The long-term health complications and eventual death toll from the fall-out from Chernobyl remain hotly contested to this day.
Independent 27th March 2016 read more »