What's going on in Chernobyl after 32 years since the catastrophe?

2018 marks 32 years since the environmental disaster. Family and acquaintances of the victims met in an emotional ceremony 50 kilometers away from the place of the event

What's going on in Chernobyl after 32 years since the catastrophe?

32 years after the catastrophe, Ukranian goverment and people still pray for those who lost their lifes in the nuclear reactor. "Chernobyl will remain an open wound in the heart of our country" said president Petró Poroshenko this thursday on his facebook page, according to a publication in the El Imparcial journal. Thousand of people congregated in Slavutych, a place 50 kilometers away the plant, prayed for the victims and they hope that this will never happen again.

Leer en español: ¿Qué está pasando en Chernobyl después de 32 años desde la catástrofe?

The nuclear accident occurred in the nuclear power station Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, called this way in honor to the president of Soviet Union, on April 26th, 1986, 30 kilometers away of the actual Ukraine. This day of 1986, after civil wars and in a transformation period of, in that moment, the URSS, the nuclear plant was in charge of provide energy to the surrounding towns and make tests to improve their technology. 

On April 25th of same year, a simulated power cut brought about a power boost in the fourth reactor. That produced the overheating of nucleus from the reactor, what ending up causing an explosion of the hydrogen inside. In the morning of April 26th, 35 persons died immediately after the explosion.

The high level of toxic chemicals caused that the floor warm up to more than 2000 degrees, so it was impossible to make a survivors search. In the afternoon of the same day, the authorities evict two towns near to prevent radiation damages. This event was the worst nuclear accident in the history, even more than Fat Man and Little Boy, bombs threw by USA into Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

Other three Chernobyl reactors continued producing electricity until December of 2000. After years of hesitation, in 2016 was install a hermetic ark on the damaged reactor to control devastating effects as malformations and much others. This super dome over the nuclear plant helps to contain all gases there and to avoid the contact with the atmosphere. This solution, according to Ukrainian experts, has an "useful life": 100 years is the time that scientists have to do something about it.

At the beginning, Moscow tried to hide the accident. While the first public alert was issued on April 28th by Sweden that had detect a high level of radioactivity, the head of state did not pronounce until May 14th.

However, the victims since 1986 are uncertain. The number of deaths in the catastrophe is still a topic of discussion, with estimates that range between 30,000 and 100,000 deceased. Furthermore, the radioactivity rate near the central it has been reduced 10% in one year, according to same publishing in El Imparcial.

 

Latin American Post | Nicolás Morales

Copy edited by Diana Rojas

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