SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Chernobyl. Aerial view of a helicopter over the remains of the Chernobyl nuclear power station in the Ukraine (formerly part of the USSR) during the early stages of making the reactor safe. The helicopter is taking radioactivity measurements. The accident occurred on 25th April 1986 during a low-power experiment with the No.4 RBMK-type reactor. The core overheated and caused a steam explosion which breached its containment building. The reactor did not have secondary containment and over a billion billion becquerels of radioactive nuclides were released into the atmosphere, Much of northern Europe was contaminated. Photographed in May 1986.
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