The nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl is the most famous reactor meltdown in the world. Chernobyl is in the country of Ukraine. Chernobyl’s 4th reactor melted down on April 26th, 1986. An uncompleted safety check was the cause. Two Soviet workers died in the meltdown and many more were injured. After the disaster 600,000 Soviet Workers attempted to make a concrete and metal crypt around the fourth reactor. It was a failed attempt and although still standing, it could cave in at any moment. Funds for a permanent structure around the fourth reactor are being collected. They are going to have to rail in a dome structure the size of a football stadium to cover it.
However, what weren’t foretold were the long-term effects. Animal and human mutations, high cancer rates, and radiation poisoning are just a couple. Twenty-five years later the effects still show. Many plants and animals around the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant were killed after the accident from radiation poisoning. Although many plants and animals came back, the effects from radiation still showed. Three-legged frogs. Radioactive flowers. Trees especially took a hit from radioactive materials. The Cesium and Plutonium released caused the trees to have stunted growth, deformed the branches and trunks, gave them unnaturally long or short needles and other things.
Other adverse affects include an increase in thyroid cancer. Thyroid cancer however is one of the most curable of cancers. Most of this cancer appeared within a generation of Chernobyl and hasn’t been transferred to the new generation.
Although the radiation has done many bad things, it has also done some good. In the 40 mile diameter around Chernobyl, a vast collection of wildlife flourishes. The lack of human population in the “exclusion zone” has led to a wildlife haven free of human interaction. 57 species of birds (2007) were counted. There is also a type of radiotroph fungus growing in, on, and around the Chernobyl reactor.
Many humans have also returned to the disaster zones. About 400 people, mostly elderly people, have moved back into the 30 km “exclusion zone” defiant of Ukrainian authorities. Since then governments have been nice enough to give them electricity and bus service.
Many things happened during the yearssince the Chernobyl meltdown. Only some of which I discussed. What happened to the communities surrounding Chernobyl? How far did the radiation cloud spread? That is for you to find out.