SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Chernobyl reactor after meltdown. Workers and cranes at the ruins of Reactor Number 4 at the Chernobyl nuclear power station, Ukraine. On 26 April 1986, this reactor went out of control, leading to meltdown and an explosion. Around 1000 square kilometres of land were directly contaminated by radioactive fall-out. Later, a concrete sarcophagus was built around the reactor to contain the radioactive materials. This photograph is by Soviet photographer Igor Kostin (born 1936), who obtained the only aerial photograph of the site immediately after the disaster, along with other photographs over the following days.
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