According to Reuters "Facility operators, in violation of safety regulations, had switched off important control systems at the Ukrainian plant's reactor number four and allowed it to reach unstable, low-power conditions, according to a United Nations report. A power surge led to a series of blasts, at 1.24 a.m., which blew off the reactor's heavy steel and concrete lid and sent a cloud of radioactive dust billowing across northern and Western Europe, reaching as far as the eastern United States."
It was, and is, a stark warning to us all. Yet in 2015 nuclear energy is being touted as a potential life saver, as far as "clean" energy goes.
The Chernobyl death toll continues to rise. As many as 93,000 extra cancer deaths could be due to the Chernobyl disaster, Greenpeace estimates. "The Chernobyl Union of Ukraine, a non-government body, estimates the present death toll from the disaster at almost 734,000."
It will be difficult assessing deaths from other countries. How will we ever really know who died due to Chernobyl? Add into the mix possible deaths from the Fukushima disaster and the matter complicates further.
Although the Chernobyl accident happened when the Soviet Union still existed it was supposed to be a time of greater openness; that did not apply to Chernobyl. Russian authorities allegedly tried to cover-up the disaster. This wasted time and will have added to the death toll.
In 2015 Japan is facing similar allegations, that it has attempted a cover up and more, as it tries to make the damaged Fukushima plant safe.
In truth it shows just how dangerous nuclear facilities are.
On this day in history we should all remember Chernobyl and use it as a lesson for the future.
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