Chernobyl: The Real Facts About the Nuclear Disaster

Teresa McGlothlin

Image: Oktay Ortakcioglu/Photographers Choice RF/GettyImages

About This Article

On April 26, 1986, engineers at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant began a routine testing procedure when things went wrong. The resulting explosion sent the equivalent of 300 Hiroshima bombs into the atmosphere over a great portion of Europe. Though it's been 30 years since the disaster, there are many unanswered questions. There are also a lot of interesting facts and hidden secrets! 

The gravity of the situation was not initially understood by officials, but over 200,000 people were instantly uprooted. With over 5 million people still living in contaminated areas, the effects are still being studied. There are plenty of things the world at large will never know, but more and more details are coming to light every day. Once you read through them, you'll never look at the disaster the same way again.

You might not think of Chernobyl or its exclusion zone as places you would want to visit. There are good reasons people continue to work there, live there and visit there, though. From the study of radiation levels to those seeking isolation in a post-apocalyptic world, the area is surprisingly more active than one might expect. Take a look at these secrets of Chernobyl! You might have to take a trip, too. 

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