The explosion and meltdown in Chernobyl is by far the worst nuclear disaster the world has ever seen. On 26th April, 1989 around 1:23 AM, reactor #4 got overheated and exploded. It eventually releases a radioactive cloud that ended up taking lives immediately of three people and several thousand from radiation directly. This disaster caused untold troubles for many of the people in Europe. It also created a fear of nuclear power that even exists today, but there are more amazing and important facts that haven’t been publicized widely. Here, are few interesting facts that you didn’t know.
Sweden Raised the First Alert
Swedes were the first who came to the rescue, as they are too open to lie. The workers of the Forsmark Nuclear Power Plant have forced deputies of Ukrainian to admit the truth regarding the greatest ever nuclear explosion. It has raised the first alert that something wrong was happening around and finally realized what had happened. This incident is a consequence of a terrible mistake in a nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, rather than any magical thing.
Government Kept the Nuclear Accident as a ‘Secret’
Ukrainian Authorities thought that it would be a great idea to keep the biggest nuclear explosion of all times as a secret. However, just after two days of the accident, they understood their mistakes of keeping secrets. Chernobyl is the only nuclear explosion in the history of level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale. Even the Soviet Union, which was a part of Ukraine at the time, had no idea what had happened and what will be its result.
Radioactive Iodine is the First Killer
After the nuclear explosion, the real killers came in the forms of radioactive isotopes. Radioactive Iodine is considered to be one of the most hazardous as it gets quickly accrued in the thyroid gland, leading to cancer.
Radiation in Chernobyl Accident is Relative
Radiation comes in various forms. According to science, it falls on a spectrum of electromagnetic radiation; long wavelengths are objects like radio waves. The small wavelengths like beta, alpha, and gamma rays are released from radioactive isotopes. It can even penetrate the cells and can also destroy human DNA. Therefore, radiation in this nuclear explosion is relative and gradually took numerous lives.
Nobody Alive in Chernobyl
Earlier, lots of people used to live in Chernobyl at distinct times. The ghost town that we come across in photos is the feeder city of Pripyat. In real-time, nobody lives there anymore. The town is located just around 10km from the nuclear power plant reactor, has residents that exist at regular intervals. However, we discovered from a documentary that people live in the area unofficially are almost 90 or above years old.
Prohibited Area is Turning into a Wildlife Sanctuary
The town of Chernobyl is an area of around 2600 sq. km is a prohibited zone. Several locals are still buried underground as their level of radiation was too high. For this purpose, the government has brought new clean soil to the area and planted forests all around. Amid to speed up a complete cleaning procedure, the whole area is going wild. This place is home to many wild species, including wild foxes, dogs, fish, and cats.
Chernobyl Explosion Had Biggest Impact on Belarus
As the town located right on the border area of Ukraine and Belarus, several parts of Belarus were also affected by the nuclear explosion. Nowadays, the radiation is higher than inside the prohibited area in Ukraine. However, Belarus has never declared a prohibited area and no steps were ever taken to clean the area. Instead, Belarus got a “wilderness zone”, which is ungoverned and unmonitored as well.
Wormwood Star Prophesy
In the Book of Revelations, an angle considered as a giant star – a “wormwood” star would bring on doomsday. The suitable name for the wormwood plant in this zone is ‘Chernobyl’, whose namesake, later on, became the town’s name that offered a place to the nuclear power plant. It might seem negative as finding the wormwood plant was the researchers’ main objective.
200 Tonnes of Radioactive Material Still Remains Inside the Reactor
After the flame douse, the authorities develop sarcophagus around the reactor. It aims to protect the zone from further spreading of radiation, which only meant to last for twenty years. Other reactors were also affected by the dangerous explosion and predicted a second one. It is likely to be much bigger than the first one and might blow most parts of Europe off the map. However, the area is nowadays safe to visit.
One Can Actually Visit Chernobyl
If you truly want to take a risk, then you will be offered a chance to visit Chernobyl as a tourist or as a research fellow. Visiting this zone will be highly adventurous, which will wide open your eyes to even more facts about nuclear energy. Only you need to be more careful as the guidelines do not detail you everything, mainly the potential dangers. Don’t forget that radiation is a silent, tasteless, odourless, and invisible murdered that has the potential to take a lot of lives.
If you want to find out more amazing facts about the nuclear explosion, get some books about the natural history of Chernobyl. You can even watch documentaries based on Chernobyl to enrich your knowledge about the reactor.