• The Chernobyl disaster was a nuclear reactor accident in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Ukraine, which used to be a part of the Soviet Union.• It is considered to be the worst nuclear power plant disaster in history and the only level 7 instance on the International Nuclear Event Scale.
• What is nuclear power? The energy produced by splitting atoms in a nuclear reactor.• Why is it dangerous? Nuclear power technology produces materials that are active in emitting radiation and are therefore called “radioactive.” We are all exposed daily to a little radiation but too much or in mass quantities can destroy cells, cause organs to shut down or after long and continuous exposure cause cancer.
• The Chernobyl Power Plant had a huge power excursion that destroyed the reactor which resulted in a severe release of radioactivity into the environment.• Two people died in the initial steam explosion, but most deaths from the accident were attributed to radiation.
• People were evacuated the day after the explosion.• A month later 116,000 people in an 18 mile radius of the plant were evacuated.• Over 300,000 people were moved from the accident.• Many still live in contaminated areas and the long term effect is not yet known.• The Soviet Union has not been able to study effects due to lack of funds and secrecy.
Effects on the Environment around the Chernobyl explosion.• Fallout levels were very high right around explosion and affected all wildlife.• Red Forest- was a forest right by the plant was named this because plants had a red hue after the explosion. These trees also died from the amount of radiation they received.• The Red Forest is still one of the most contaminated areas in the world but is becoming the most fertile to endangered species because of the lack of human influence in this area.
Effects on the Environment around the Chernobyl explosion.• Eagles, storks, beavers, wolves and bears have been spotted in this area.• Some weird things have been spotted; birds with shorter tails, trees with strangely bent branches, other mutated plants.• A report written in 2005 by the Chernobyl Forum stated that, apart from a 15 mile area around the site and a few restricted lakes and forests, radiation levels had returned to acceptable levels.
Effects on People around the Chernobyl explosion.• Over 300,000 people were moved because of the accident.• An increase of thyroid cancer has been diagnosed among children in areas of Belarus, Ukraine and Russia.• Some believe the stress of the accident has been worse on people than the radiation.
Effects on Economy around the Chernobyl explosion.• Between 300,000 and 600,000 people were brought in to clean-up.• Crops were destroyed, livestock was killed, everywhere there was radiation.• Over 235 billion dollars has been spent to clean up the disaster.• Belarus lost 1/5 of its farming lands(700 million dollars a year loss.)• 350 industries were lost due to the disaster.