In just one day following the 1986 Chernobyl Power plant disaster, the nearby place called Pripyat was turned into a ghost town. Its inhabitants were evacuated, leaving their pets and belongings in the alienation zone. Find out what happened to the town and surrounding areas. See how the incident impacted the lives of humans and wildlife - both in the vicinity of the epicenter, and thousands of kilometers away, in Europe. Hear the voices of first responders - firemen who were the first on the scene and survived the inferno of the burning Reactor 4 building. Learn more from our special series "Level 7 Event: 30 Years After Chernobyl".
While Chernobyl in Ukraine is experiencing a tourism boom amid the success of the HBO series about the worst nuclear disaster in history, British daredevils are preparing to take travellers to the infamous Bikini Atoll, which witnessed 23 nuclear bomb explosions and has remained contaminated and uninhabited for decades.
Nuclear energy is a polarizing subject between politicians and scientists, versus environment protection activists and the victims of contamination events, with each having opposing views on whether nuclear energy is safe.
While local authorities in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic were trying to find out how serious the Chernobyl nuclear disaster was, and whether it was necessary to evacuate surrounding towns, a massive radiation plume drifted towards neighboring countries, making the accident of April 26, 1986 a global issue that threatened all of Europe.
They had no radiation suits, no dosimeters and no respirators. Local firefighters, engineers, police officers, soldiers and ambulance staff were the first to arrive at the burning Chernobyl Nuclear power plant, risking their lives in an attempt to save the population of nearby sleeping towns from an even bigger disaster.
It was the pride of the Soviet nuclear industry, producing about 10% of Ukraine’s electricity. Not only did the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant provide power, it was also the testing ground for state-of-the art technology. And, apparently, it was the latter that led to the worst nuclear power station accident in history.