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The Chernobyl Disaster

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The Chernobyl Disaster
Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Written by: Heather Stover
ENG135
October 2012
Professor Spencer Robinson

Twenty-six years ago in April of 1986 the city of Chernobyl, located in north-central Ukraine on the Pripyat River, was virtually unknown. It was just an obscure city that you and I would never have known existed. Almost incidentally, the name of this city was attached to the V.I. Lenin Nuclear Power Plant located about twenty-five kilometers upstream from the city of Chernobyl. On April 26, the city's anonymity vanished forever when, during a test at 1:21 A.M., the No. 4 reactor exploded and released thirty to forty times the radioactivity of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This was due to the flawed reactor design in use at the plant. The world first learned of history's worst nuclear accident from Sweden, where abnormal radiation levels were registered at one of its nuclear facilities. (Adams, 1996) Ranking as one of the greatest industrial accidents of all time, the Chernobyl' disaster and its impact on the course of events for the Soviets can hardly be exaggerated. No one can predict what will finally be the exact number of human victims. Thirty- one lives were lost immediately, although it was initially reported as only two and the others were to have died from acute radiation poisoning. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians, Russians, and Belorussians had to abandon entire cities and settlements within the thirty-kilometer zone of extreme contamination. (DeLeo, 2003) Many of the victims have been diagnosed with cancer of the thyroid, some of those being the children who were either living at the time of the incident or who were born to parents that were there when the accident occurred. Subsequent studies in the Ukraine, Russia and Belarus were based on national...

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