International Chornobyl Disaster Remembrance Day
On Apr. 26, Ukraine observes the annual International Chornobyl Disaster Remembrance Day. On Apr. 26, 1986, the worst disaster in the history of nuclear power generation took place. Reactor No. 4 of the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine
exploded. As a result of the explosion at the plant, a radioactive cloud spread over large parts of the Soviet Union, particularly the territories of Belarus, Ukraine and the Russian Federation. Nearly 8.4 million people in the three countries were exposed to the radiation. Nowadays, the cause of the 1986 Chornobyl accident is transparently established: it was the result of a flawed reactor design, namely, drawbacks in the safety controlling system. In 1986, the USSR authorities placed the entire burden of responsibility on the power plant personnel, and the top management of the Chornobyl NPP got sentences for imprisonment. Notwithstanding, further investigations were conducted, and in 1992, IAEA published an update on the causes of the accident. Two steam explosions and the fire that ensued released at least 5% of the radioactive reactor core into the environment, with the deposition of radioactive materials in many parts of Europe.
When the Chornobyl disaster occurred, Ukraine was still a part of the Soviet Union. As such, all decisions were made in the Kremlin – and the Kremlin decided to lie. The Soviets hid information about the scale of the disaster. They didn’t warn the
world about impending catastrophe nor did they immediately begin to evacuate people, organising Labour Day celebrations instead. Human lives never meant. anything to Moscow. By silencing the Chornobyl disaster, the Kremlin put the whole world on the brink of catastrophe.
In 2022, when Russia started the full-scale war against Ukraine, the Russian troops seized the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant, threatening its operation. By doing so, Russia not only violated the security of Ukraine by crossing its border, but it also put the world at risk once again.
Ukraine and the world commemorate the victims of the Chornobyl disaster, which affected many generations, every year. Today, the world’s responsibility is to never let it happen again.