Published: 4/27/2010The 24th anniversary of the Chernobyl atomic accident is commemorated worldwide. Severe health problems linked to the disaster are still visible although nearly a quarter century has passed over it.
Radiation clouds that were sent from the powerful nuclear explosion hover in the skies of many countries and cause disorders.
On 26th April 1986, the Unit 4 of the Chernobyl reactor in Ukraine suffered an enormous power excursion and 31 people were killed in the sudden explosion.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Chernobyl nuclear reactor released some 200 times radioactive fallout than the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
While cleanup crew were striving to contain the fire in the facility, Soviet officials attempted to paper over the accident. However, radioactive clouds spewed from Chernobyl arrived in Sweden and increased pollution level to 15 times, making it impossible to disguise the accident.
Staff who were present in the facility at the time of the blast and those called for emergency help were exposed to extremely high radiation levels. Death toll from the disaster is still a heated topic and remains obscure. The 30 km exclusion zone around the site of the Chernobyl was declared as dead zone and settlement activities were banned.
In just 36 hours after the accident, people in the vicinity were evacuated and some 116 thousand people were relocated within a month.
Clusters of radiation clouds covered a wide span of land ranging from Canada and Japan to South Africa, causing caused radioactive rainfalls.
Agricultural lands were contaminated and thousands deadly diseases including cancer and cardiac cases erupted across the world. Many villages near the plant were deserted for air, water and soil contamination.
In 1991, a fire broke out in reactor 2 of the plant and reactor 3 experienced floodings in July 2008 to be completely closed. In December 2000, the final operational reactor was shattered.
Then, 250 thousand tones of concrete slab were used to entrap its 180 tons of fuel inside the shelter. Officials are concerned by the gaping crack on this concrete sarcophagus.
After the bitter experience, Europe tended to abandon nuclear power. Sweden and the Netherlands gave up plans for reactors while Germany announced that nuclear power units will not be used as from 2021.