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Related to Chernobyl: Three Mile Island, Pripyat


(chĭrnō`byēl), Ukr. Chornobyl, abandoned city, N Ukraine, near the Belarus border, on the Pripyat River. Ten miles (16 km) to the north, in the town of Pripyat, is the Chernobyl nuclear power station, site of the worst nuclear reactor disaster in history. On Apr. 25, 1986, during an unauthorized test of one of the plant's four reactors, engineers initiated an uncontrolled chain reaction in the core of the reactor after disabling emergency backup systems. On Apr. 26, an explosion ripped the top off the containment building, expelling radioactive material into the atmosphere; more was released in the subsequent fire. Only after Swedish instruments detected fallout from the explosion did Soviet authorities admit that an accident had occurred. The reactor core was sealed off by air-dropping a cement mixture, but not before eight tons of radioactive material had escaped. Subsequently, the damaged reactor building was enclosed in a concrete and steel "sacrophagus," a massive structure that was constructed around it.

Twenty firefighters died immediately from overexposure to radioactivity, while hundreds suffered from severe radiation sickness. Pripyat, Chernobyl, and nearby towns were evacuated. People who lived near the plant in Ukraine and Belarus at the time have seen a greatly increased incidence of thyroid cancer, and genetic mutations have been discovered in children later born to exposed parents. Nearly all thyroid cancer cases, however, were successfully treated. Ukraine has estimated that some 4,400 people died as a result of the accident and during its cleanup, but a 2005 report prepared by several UN agencies and regional governments indicated that some 50 deaths were directly attributable to radiation from the disaster and an estimated 4,000 deaths might ultimately result from it, mainly due to higher cancer rates. That prediction was challenged the following year by a Greenpeace report that said more than 90,000 deaths might result, roughly half of which would be due to conditions other than cancer. The agricultural economies of E and N Europe were temporarily devastated, as farm products were contaminated by fallout. One Chernobyl reactor remained in operation until Dec., 2000, when the complex was shut down.

An exclusion zone encompassing the areas of highest radiation and including some 1,000 sq mi (2,600 sq km) was ultimately established, but many population centers outside the area were also abandoned. More than 90,000 people were relocated, though a few illegally returned. Wildlife in the area, however, has reestablished itself, flourishing to some degree in the absence of human activity. In 2016 a new confinement structure was placed over the entombed reactor.


See S. Alexievich, Voices from Chernobyl (2005).



a city (since 1841) and administrative center of Chernobyl’ Raion, Kiev Oblast, Ukrainian SSR. Situated on the Pripiat’ River, 18 km from the Ianov railroad station on the Chernigov-Ovruch line. Chernobyl’, a river landing, has an iron foundry, a cheese plant, a ship-repair dock, and a workshop of an artistic production association. The city has a medical school.


a town in N Ukraine; site of a nuclear power station accident in 1986
References in periodicals archive ?
This territory obviously cannot be used for agriculture, but it is quite suitable for innovative and scientific projects," Ostap Semerak, Ukrainian Minister of the Environment and one of the promoters of placing solar projects in Chernobyl, told media in 2016.
A report issued by Greenpeace revealed that the world could see more than 200,000 eventual cancer deaths as a result of Chernobyl.
If Chernobyl has slipped into history along with the USSR, overtaken by other pressing concerns, it's probably time for a reminder.
Reactor number 4 at the Chernobyl nuclear power station exploded on April 26th 1986 displacing over 300,000 people in what was then the Soviet Union.
The number of people who could eventually die due to cancer as a result of the Chernobyl accident is estimated at 9,000 by the UN-led Chernobyl Forum.
En Bielorrusia no hay archivo fotografico personal mas completo de la catastrofe de Chernobyl que el de Kostin.
Research shows that the visits to North Yorkshire boost the children's immune systems and significantly lower the risk of them developing serious diseases later in life, often associated with the after-effects of the Chernobyl disaster.
The lack of interest by the nuclear industry in providing reliable information on the consequences of Chernobyl and Fukushima should not be ignored.
As the world marks the 27th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor explosion, Chabad's Children of Chernobyl (CCOC) continues the work of saving the disaster's youngest victims, preparing to airlift more children to safety on CCOC's next rescue mission.
Adi Roche, whose Chernobyl Children International charity has led aid efforts, said: "Today we can once again remember the forgotten children of Chernobyl who 10,000 days ago saw their world changed in the blink of an eye, leaving a legacy of medical and health problems that continue.
Timothy Mousseau and Anders Moller of the University of South Carolina have published three studies detailing the effects of ionizing radiation on pine trees and birds in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.
The Chernobyl nuclear plant accident is one of the most significant technological disasters of the second half of the 20th century in terms of radiation levels and population and territory exposed.