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  • In the early morning of 26th April 1986, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the former

  • Soviet territory of Ukraine exploded, creating what is usually described as the worst nuclear

  • disaster the world has ever seen.

  • The disaster spread radioactivity into the atmosphere in one of the largest bursts of

  • unintentional radioactive release into the environment.

  • Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus were subject to significant exposure following the event

  • and the rest of Europe was on red alert.

  • Years of independent research and government investigation followed as the world tried

  • to calculate the extent of the damage caused by the disaster.

  • Today on the Infographics Show we take a look at the aftermath of this tragic event and

  • see if the event was as disastrous as first predicted.

  • Let's take a look atThe Worst Effects of the Chernobyl disaster.

  • Just over 8 miles north of Kiev and about 12 miles south of Belarus four reactors stood

  • next to a reservoir fed by the Pripyat River, and close to the town of the same name with

  • a population of 50,000 when the disaster struck.

  • The town of Chernobyl was inhabited by 12,000 and the rest of the land surrounding the plant

  • was predominantly farms and woodland.

  • Water from the Pripyat River was used to cool the reactors, as in most nuclear power plants.

  • The reactor used at Chernobyl, the RBMK-1000, is now however well known to have a design

  • flaw in the cooling system.

  • On the 25th April plant operators were making preparations for a maintenance shutdown.

  • In the early hours of the 26th hot fuel rods were lowered into the cooling water creating

  • steam, and owing to that design flaw a power surge caused an explosion killing two plant

  • workers.

  • For the following few days emergency crews attempted to contain the fires and radiation

  • leaks.

  • As more plant workers became exposed to the radiation they later died of radiation sickness,

  • but fortunately most of the radiation leaked had a relatively short half-life of eight

  • days.

  • A day after the event on the 27th April 1986 the town of Pripyat was evacuated, many of

  • the townspeople suffering headaches, vomiting, and other indications of radiation sickness.

  • In the months following the event 28 plant workers died, and this number grew to 31 after

  • 3 months, in addition over 6,000 cancer cases have been linked to the event, however the

  • true number of cases attributed to the event are near impossible to calculate as people

  • naturally suffer from various cancers.

  • Many doctors in Eastern Europe advised pregnant woman to abort their unborn children for fear

  • of them bearing children with birth defects, although in hindsight the level of radiation

  • exposure was probably too low to have caused any such complications.

  • The trees in the surrounding woodland were killed from the radiation and the region became

  • known as the Red Forest owing to the color the flora turned after the radiation exposure.

  • The contaminated trees were torn down and buried in purpose-dug trenches.

  • Shortly after the disaster birds living in the area were found to have developed with

  • smaller brains.

  • Swallows in the area demonstrated albino plumage, deformed feet and tail feathers, and tumors.

  • Some cattle born after the event exhibited signs of radioactive mutation.

  • In 2011 though the Ukraine opened up the area to tourists wishing to see firsthand the effects

  • of the disaster.

  • The region nowadays has become one of the world's most thriving wildlife sanctuaries

  • hosting thriving numbers of deer, wolves, boar, elk, bear, eagles and other species

  • scarcely found in other surrounding regions.

  • Despite this recent explosion in fauna experts predict that the area will not be fit for

  • human habitation for another 20,000 years.

  • Post-disaster children seem to have been most affected in the form of a thyroid cancer outbreak,

  • caused by the absorption of iodine-131 into the thyroid gland in children in Ukraine and

  • Belarus.

  • Studies show that adults were less affected and the children who were youngest during

  • the incident were most at risk.

  • Before the event the cases of thyroid cancer in Belarus were under 1 case per million people-

  • by 1995, cases were up to 100 per million per year.

  • Clearly the nuclear event was to blame for this upswing.

  • In West Germany Down Syndrome peaked for some 9 months with a cluster of 12 cases born in

  • January 1987 that may have been connected to the disaster.

  • In 2006 a group of 8 UN agencies including the World Health Organization and the International

  • Atomic Energy Agency along with hundreds of scientists and health experts assessed the

  • damage of the event.

  • The number of fatalities has not reached the tens of thousands that were predicted shortly

  • after the disaster.

  • Fewer than 50 deaths have been directly attributed to the event.

  • 9 children died of thyroid cancer thought to have been caused by the disaster.

  • The report concluded thatBy and large we have not found profound negative health

  • impacts to the rest of the population in surrounding areas, nor have we found widespread contamination

  • that would continue to pose a substantial threat to human health.”

  • It is interesting to note that over 1,000 reactor staff were heavily exposed to radiation

  • and around 200,000 workers were involved in recovery operations yet only 50 died from

  • cancer 20 years later.

  • But we aren't out of the woods yet.

  • Scientists are divided in predicting the number of cancer deaths we can expect over the next

  • 20 years with the report suggesting a further 4,000 people will die of cancer.

  • The town of Pripyat is still considered uninhabitable although popular with Dark Tourists who venture

  • in to the zone to see firsthand how the event changed the landscape.

  • Radiation in large volumes kills living things, but amazingly the flora and fauna surrounding

  • the plant have learned to thrive and in some cases benefit from the radiation.

  • For example a fungus exists that uses radiation to produce its own energy source much the

  • way solar panels use sunlight.

  • This radiotrophic fungi performs radiosynthesis using melanin pigment to convert gamma radiation

  • into chemical energy growth.

  • So while Chernobyl was undoubtedly a disastrous event we have learned much about the dangers

  • of nuclear radiation as a consequence and hopefully this knowledge will help us understand

  • nuclear energy better.

  • So what do you think about the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster?

  • Was the event as terrible as we first thought?

  • Let us know in the comments.

  • Also, be sure to watch our other video called What Was It Like to be Jailed at Alcatraz?

  • Thanks for watching, and as always, don't forget to like, share and subscribe, see you

  • next time!

In the early morning of 26th April 1986, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the former

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チェルノブイリが原因の病気 (Diseases Caused By Chernobyl)

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    April Lu に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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