SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Chernobyl disaster. Engineers at the Chernobyl nuclear power station wave to a passing helicopter shortly after the nuclear disaster. The chimney provided a vantage point for them to direct emergency operations, despite the intense radiation present and their minimal protective clothing. 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.
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