SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Chernobyl disaster. One of the thousands of soldiers used to initiate clean-up operations after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. He is wearing a lead- impregnated overcoat, gloves and boots, and has a geiger counter on his chest. An explosion destroyed one of the reactors at the Chernobyl power station, Ukraine, on 26 April 1986. About one quarter of the nuclear material in the reactor's core was released into the environment. The authorities declared a 30km exclusion zone around the plant, evacuating 135,000 people to the nearby city of Kiev. About 1000 square km of land and 60,000 buildings were contaminated by the fallout.
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