CNES, 2016 DISTRIBUTION SPOT IMAGE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CNES, 2016 DISTRIBUTION SPOT IMAGE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Chernobyl nuclear site. Satellite image of the Chernobyl nuclear power station in Ukraine, in 2016. North is towards upper left. At this site, on 26 April 1986, the nuclear reaction in Reactor number Four went out of control, leading to meltdown and an explosion. Radioactive fall-out contaminated the surrounding areas, with lighter elements carried large distances across Europe. A concrete sarcophagus, the Object Shelter, was built to contain the remaining radioactive materials. The New Safe Confinement to replace this was built from 2012, and is nearing completion (visible at centre left). This optical image was obtained in 2016 by the CNES (French space agency) Pleiades satellite system.
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