LAWRENCE LIVERMORE LABORATORY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LAWRENCE LIVERMORE LABORATORY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Computer simulation of the distribution of radioactivity in the Northern Hemisphere ten days after the accident at the Chernobyl atomic power station, USSR. The accident occured on 25th April 1986 during an experiment with the No.3 RBMK-type reactor. The fuel pile became unstable and overheated, eventually catching fire and breaching its containment building. The simulation shows that high altitude winds carried radioactivity over the Middle East and Asia (lower right and top right respectively), whilst lower-level winds carried radioactivity over Scandinavia. Note that some radioactivity has reached the USA (left).
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