The world's worst man made disaster
26th April 1986, 1.23am was the beginning of one of the worlds largest nuclear disasters. It began with a routine test of Reactor 4 at the Chernobyl Power Plant.
A sudden surge of power caused an emergency shutdown to be performed leading to a more extreme spike and a series of explosions. The events exposed the graphite moderator to air causing it to ignite.
The resulting fire sent a plume of highly radioactive smoke into the atmosphere which would affect the world.
The evacuation of 1000's
The local town of Pripyat had a population of over 49,000. For 36 hours after the explosion they went about their daily business unaware of the consequences of the accident.
118 towns were evacuated and remain uninhabitable in a exclusion zone the size of Luxembourg.
Over 800,000 men and women risked their lives by exposing themselves to the radiation to contain the situation.
Due to the high level of contamination, the first generation of the Children from Chernobyl were born with heartbreaking physical defects.
The evacuation of 1000's
30 years on and the exclusion zone remains in place, though some have returned to live and to work at the now closed Power Plant. Those who left everything behind with the promise of return, still live as displaced families in surrounding areas.
The affects of Chernobyl are just not only physical now. It rears up in children through cancer and organ failure, and psychologically they fall under a cloud of depression, suspicion and despair.
The new sarcophagus was completed this year to seal the radiation in the reactor for 100 years. Though the reactor is now out of sight it will not remain out of mind for those young and old who continue to live with cloud of Chernobyl they carry with them.
What are the causes?
The effects from the radiation that filled the atmosphere from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, were felt all over Europe. Here, we may remember not being able to eat our lamb as the radiation fell on the highlands of Wales.
But for those closer to Chernobyl, they found that the high levels of radiation affected the communities very differently, taking hold of men, women, children and the unborn alike. Deformities were seen in the following year that would shock the world and these children were hidden from society, ashamed of, in a era that required uniformity.
Levels were so high, that in some areas it will take 1000s of years for the land to be at an acceptable radioactive level for human inhabitation. Because of the high level and the half life of these isotopes, radiation is still contaminating the lands and will continue to do so for many generation to come.
Affecting muscles and causing cancerous tumors
Has a half life of 30 years.
The body can't distinguish Cesium from Potassium
so it's taken up by our cells and becomes an internal source of radiation.
It contaminates the land where food is grown which, in turn, is eaten as the only source of the food for a family.
Affecting bones and the main cause of Leukaemia
Half life of 28 years
A chemical similar to calcium
Affects bone and bone tissue
Can cause Leukaemia.
Affects bones as well as teeth.
Contaminates the dust which is inhaled but can also be found in water.
Affecting Thyroid Functionality
Has a half life of 8 days affecting the Thyroid gland which helps regulate you body.
The body cannot distinguish iodine-131 from stable iodine and high levels are found in Milk from cows grazing on contaminated areas.
There are many children of around ten years of age suffering from Thyroid cancer.
As our charity continues to expand, we can use all the help we can get. Contact us today to learn how you can get involved.
Chernobyl Children's Lifeline
Founded in 1992, Chernobyl Children's Lifeline has been working with the local Links all over the UK to help the children who continue to suffer from the effects of radiation. The Charity is dedicated in bringing children from Belarus and Ukraine to the UK for a 4 week recuperation holiday to help rebuild their immune systems as well as ensuring they receive any dental or optical care they need.
CCLL also works in supporting projects like the Minsk Children's Cancer Hospital, Baby Orphanage and strives to inspire and improve the lives of those who need assistance in towns and villages of Belarus & Ukraine.