Chernobyl decontamination plant

Chernobyl decontamination plant

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Credit: PATRICK LANDMANN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Chernobyl decontamination plant. Worker using a jet of steam as part of a process to decontaminate metals inside the Chernobyl exclusion zone, Ukraine. On 26th April 1986, reactor number 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear power station went out of control, leading to meltdown and an explosion. Around 1000 square kilometres of land were directly contaminated by radioactive fall-out and a 30km exclusion zone was created. A concrete sarcophagus was built to contain the radioactive materials, but within the restricted area the radiation is still lethal to humans. Situated in some of the buildings surrounding the plant, the Complex company is entrusted with the decontamination of metals which are destined to be recycled or sold. The workers do not have standard safety protection.

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