Miners were among the many people the USSR deployed after the disaster.
Most of the time, these operations were not urgent – unlike the one following this disaster that summoned some 600,000 people to the site of the worst nuclear accident of all time.
The memorial to the Chernobyl disaster in front of the reactor, now encased in its new containment shield.
Documentary or drama? The HBO/Sky series is gripping watching, but sometimes facts make way for artistic licence.
Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (Ukraine) with the new safe confinement building over the number 4 reactor unit. May 2017.
The initial impact of the catastrophe on nature was important, but the exclusion zone has now become a natural reserve.
Inside a power-plant cooling tower.
Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima demonstrated the difficulty of managing a disaster at a nuclear power plant. What is the situation in France?
Cleanup crew search for radioactive debris.
U.S. Air Force
In what came to be known as the Thule incident, an American bomber crashed in Greenland, spreading radioactive wreckage across 3 square miles of a frozen fjord. Denmark was not happy.
Letting Fukushima residents stay in their homes would have only cost them an average of three months' life expectancy.
HMS Vengeance, off and away.
Reports of a failed Trident missile launch have all sorts of political and security implications – but they don't necessarily spell catastrophe.
Given that cities may be home to 80% of humanity by the end of the century, they can only be sustainable if eco-friendliness is one of their core features.
In part two of our podcast on rebooting, we explore what would happen if humanity was wiped out, take a look at a political comeback in France, and get a taste of a revamped US institution.
Radiation exposure as a child can increase cancer risk later in life. But by how much?
Chernobyl is already responsible for up to 5,000 cases of cancer in Europe.
After one reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant caught fire and exploded in 1986, the whole site was encased in a concrete sarcophagus.
The meltdown at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 1986 exposed 572 million people to radiation. No other nuclear accident holds a candle to that level of public health impact.
White storks on road near Chernobyl, Ukraine. Many parts of the Chernobyl region have low radioactivity levels and serve as refuges for plants and animals.
How do we measure long-term impacts of nuclear accidents? Studies at Chernobyl and Fukushima show that radiation has harmed animals, birds and insects and reduced biodiversity at both sites.
Engineers have devised an innovative way to dismantle Chernobyl's reactor while preventing further radiation escaping.
Elementary school students about 13 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant walk past a geiger counter in 2012.
Remediation will never get radiation to zero in the area affected by the 2011 meltdown at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant. Rather than safety, the conversation should focus on acceptable risk.
Radioactively contaminated territory around the Mayak nuclear facility in Russia.
Nikulina/Slapovskaya/Heinrich Boell Foundation Moscow
The nuclear deal South Africa signed with Russia is set to be massively expensive and comes with a fair amount of risks.
Atomic cloud over Hiroshima.
By 509th Operations Group via Wikimedia Commons
Any nuclear weapon exchange or major nuclear plant meltdown will immediately lead to a global public health emergency. What can we learn from past events to help prepare?
The Fukushima disaster was a dark chapter for nuclear power - but high-profile accidents are far from the only downside.
Is nuclear power worth it? No, says Mark Diesendorf – it's never been a major world energy force, it has caused huge accidents, and its greenhouse emissions are higher than many people realise.
Fishing boats stranded by the 2011 tsunami, with the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in the background.
Three years ago today, Japan was hit by the strongest earthquake ever measured in that country – and Fukushima became an international by-word for disaster. Now, as Japan tries to put its past behind it…
It’s better to plan for disaster than have to plan a clean up after one.
Modern safety engineering follows the aphorism, “there is no such thing as zero risk, only acceptable risk”. However, calculating chances and risk is a finicky process, especially when played out against…
Does the complexity of nuclear reactors mean they will never be safe?
Last week’s crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan saw radioactive water leak again from the crippled facility, raising fears that groundwater flowing into the Pacific Ocean could be contaminated…