Nuclear Diplomacy and Disarmament

Places in news: Chernobyl


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Chernobyl Disaster

Mains level : Not Much


Ukrainian authorities said that radiation levels had increased in the Chernobyl exclusion zone after the Russian Invasion.

What is Chernobyl Disaster?

  • The Chernobyl disaster was a nuclear accident that occurred on 26 April 1986 at the No. 4 reactor in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, near the city of Pripyat in the north of Ukraine (formerly USSR).
  • It is considered the worst nuclear disaster in history both in cost and casualties.
  • It is one of only two nuclear energy accidents rated at seven—the maximum severity—on the International Nuclear Event Scale.
  • The other such incident was the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan.

Destruction caused

  • Some sources state that two people were killed in the initial explosions, whereas others report that the figure was closer to 50.
  • Dozens more people contracted serious radiation sickness; some of them later died.
  • Between 50 and 185 million curies of radionuclides (radioactive forms of chemical elements) escaped into the atmosphere.
  • This is several times more radioactivity than that created by the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.
  • This radioactivity was spread by the wind over Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine and soon reached as far west as France and Italy.


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