The Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster (in April \(1986\)) in Ukraine resulted from a flawed USSR reactor design coupled with grave mistakes made by the plant operator evading safety measures. It was a direct result of Cold War isolation and the resulting lack of any safety practice.
Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster
On \(26th April 1986\), a reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine went out of control during a test at low power, leading to an explosion. It demolished the reactor building and released a large amount of radiation in the surrounding areas.
Radioactive elements including iodine, plutonium, Caesium and strontium were scattered over a wide area. Also, the graphite blocks used as a moderating material caught fire at high temperatures as air entered the reactor core, which contributed to the emission of radioactive materials into the environment.
More than 1800 cases of thyroid cancer have been documented in children aging between 0 and 14 years when the accident occurred., which is highly unusual. The thyroid gland of young children is particularly susceptible to the absorb radioactive iodine (I-131), which triggers cancers, treatable both by surgery and medication. It is estimated that Chernobyl will be again habitable only after about 20,000 years.