An explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in the USSR (now Ukraine) during a safety test became the worst nuclear accident in history on April 26th, 1986. Twenty-five years later, the area is still uninhabitable. The Big Picture has posted 34 pictures from that disaster and its aftermath, continuing to the present. This picture shows a helicopter spraying decontaminant a month after the accident. Some photos may be disturbing. Link -via the Presurfer

(Image credit: Reuters/Itar-Tass)

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Thanks for the link with some excellent pix, including some that aren't part of every Chernobyl post and photo stream. As a current resident of Ukraine, we are constantly aware Chernobyl and living with the effects of the disaster. The recent catastrophe in Japan has brought the horror of nuclear disaster back to the front of the international conscience. Unfortunately, with exploding world population and worldwide financial crises, nuclear energy is nearly unavoidable yet, in the case of disaster- it is truly horrifying. And, unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to quantify the results of a nuclear catastrophe. It is even impossible to pin an official death toll to a nuclear disaster.
Chernobyl is referred to as 'the worst nuclear disaster ever' in the post linked to this one. I would agree- partly because the cause of the disaster was workers at the plant doing 'experiments' they should not have been doing. This disaster was largely the result of human error. Anyone who has the opportunity to visit the Chernobyl museum in Kyiv should do it. It is definitely presented in a manner designed for maximum emotional impact but there is also an excellent video replication of the explosion and, depending on the guide you get, an excellent and understandable explanation of nuclear reactors and how the explosion happened. English speaking guides (of varying degrees of competency) are available upon request.
I don't really have an special insight to offer, these are just thoughts that are in my head these days.
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