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The 1986 Chernobyl nightmare: The worst nuclear accident that still haunts the globe

April 26, 17:35 UTC+3

April 26, 2018 marks 32 years since the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster

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The wreckage of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is seen from a helicopter, days after the April 26, 1986 explosion
The wreckage of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is seen from a helicopter, days after the April 26, 1986 explosion
The wreckage of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is seen from a helicopter, days after the April 26, 1986 explosion
© AP Photo
A helicopter sprays a decontaminate over the region surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear power station
A helicopter sprays a decontaminate over the region surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear power station
A helicopter sprays a decontaminate over the region surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear power station
© Valery Zufarov/TASS
A general view of the sarcophagus over the 4th power unit under construction
A general view of the sarcophagus over the 4th power unit under construction
A general view of the sarcophagus over the 4th power unit under construction
© Valery Zufarov/TASS
Radiation measuring over Chernobyl nuclear power station, 1986
Radiation measuring over Chernobyl nuclear power station, 1986
Radiation measuring over Chernobyl nuclear power station, 1986
© Igor Kostin/TASS
A worker checks the surface of a nuclear reactor for radiation levels, 1986
A worker checks the surface of a nuclear reactor for radiation levels, 1986
A worker checks the surface of a nuclear reactor for radiation levels, 1986
© Valery Zufarov/TASS
Liquidators recovering the Reactor hall No. 3 at the Chernobyl nuclear power station
Liquidators recovering the Reactor hall No. 3 at the Chernobyl nuclear power station
Liquidators recovering the Reactor hall No. 3 at the Chernobyl nuclear power station
© Valery Zufarov/TASS
Worker of a Radiation Control Post monitors radiation level of a bus, leaving the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, 1987
Worker of a Radiation Control Post monitors radiation level of a bus, leaving the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, 1987
Worker of a Radiation Control Post monitors radiation level of a bus, leaving the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, 1987
© Valery Zufarov/TASS
The town of Pripyat near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant abandoned after the catastrophic nuclear accident
The town of Pripyat near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant abandoned after the catastrophic nuclear accident
The town of Pripyat near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant abandoned after the catastrophic nuclear accident
© Valery Solovyov, Alexander Malakhovsky/TASS
Pripyat was founded in 1970 to house the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant workers
Pripyat was founded in 1970 to house the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant workers
Pripyat was founded in 1970 to house the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant workers
© Vladimir Samokhotsky/TASS
Sanitizing cars at leaving the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, 1987
Sanitizing cars at leaving the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, 1987
Sanitizing cars at leaving the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, 1987
© Valery Zufarov/TASS
Memorial to the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster victims
Memorial to the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster victims
Memorial to the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster victims
© Valery Khristoforov/TASS
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The wreckage of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is seen from a helicopter, days after the April 26, 1986 explosion
© AP Photo
A helicopter sprays a decontaminate over the region surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear power station
© Valery Zufarov/TASS
A general view of the sarcophagus over the 4th power unit under construction
© Valery Zufarov/TASS
Radiation measuring over Chernobyl nuclear power station, 1986
© Igor Kostin/TASS
A worker checks the surface of a nuclear reactor for radiation levels, 1986
© Valery Zufarov/TASS
Liquidators recovering the Reactor hall No. 3 at the Chernobyl nuclear power station
© Valery Zufarov/TASS
Worker of a Radiation Control Post monitors radiation level of a bus, leaving the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, 1987
© Valery Zufarov/TASS
The town of Pripyat near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant abandoned after the catastrophic nuclear accident
© Valery Solovyov, Alexander Malakhovsky/TASS
Pripyat was founded in 1970 to house the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant workers
© Vladimir Samokhotsky/TASS
Sanitizing cars at leaving the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, 1987
© Valery Zufarov/TASS
Memorial to the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster victims
© Valery Khristoforov/TASS

The disaster at the fourth reactor of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant occurred on April 26, 1986. More than 200,000 square kilometers of land, first and foremost, in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, became contaminated. Around 115,000 people were evacuated from the 30-kilometer-wide affected zone.

The subsequent clean-up operation involved more than 600,000 people, about ten percent of whom died, and 165,000 became disabled. Thanks to the dedicated work of the disaster’s responders coming from all over the Soviet Union, a concrete structure covering the nuclear reactor No. 4 was installed - known as the Shelter Object - in November 1986. TASS remembers the world's worst nuclear disaster.

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