The Chernobyl Disaster

On April 26th 1986, there was an explosion at a nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, on the border between Ukraine and Belarus.

mapTons of radioactive materials erupted into the air, some of which were carried around the world and ended up in the UK. But most of the radioactive substances blew north over Belarus.

Hundreds of towns and villages were evacuated and the entire country was declared a zone of international ecological disaster – a declaration that still stands today. A quarter of the countries best farmlands and forests were poisoned and will remain that way for hundreds of years. One of the most dangerous substances – Plutonium – infected the ground, making it uninhabitable forever.

A lasting disaster

Belarus 1The most devastating effect of the Chernobyl explosion has been on the people and children of Belarus. In the south, thyroid cancer in children has increased by more than 100 times, and cases of many other types of cancer have increased dramatically. Diabetes, heart disease, respiratory problems, digestive system problems and birth defects are very common in Belarus.

Fast facts

  • The Chernobyl power plant explosion happened in 1986
  • The vast majority of the radioactive material from the blast blew over Belarus
  • Belarus is still a zone of international ecological disaster today
  • Thyroid cancer in children has increased over 100 times since the disaster

Sadly, time is not a healer for the people of Belarus, and they still struggle with these problems today. The greatest fear is for the people of future generations.