Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster

It was the worst nuclear accident in history, but the world ignored their existence until two days later. The morning of April 26, 1986 an explosion in reactor number 4 of the Chernobyl NPP (Ukraine) caused the death of 31 people and thousands of evacuees. Many more would die later, hundreds of thousands, the result of radiation still present in the body of thousands of people.

The first information published La Vanguardia data on the nuclear disaster of April 29. Then he spoke of a "radiation leak" that had been victims (not saying how many) and had come to countries like Finland, Sweden and Denmark ... and ensured that the population was not endangered. But the truth is that the Soviet secrecy and reluctance to report difficult to make a genuine assessment of the severity of the explosion.

A day later and the alarm-the cover of our journal is dedicated exclusively to the theme-the catastrophe of Chernobyl ... And Moscow continues to minimize the event. The USSR recognized two dead as the United States spoke of 2,000. And scientists insisitían that recorded radioactivity levels were not dangerous.

EuropaPero panic no one believed the Soviet version and the countries after the explosion had been reported rates of radioactivity were torn between psychosis and caution. In Sweden, for example, rushed to buy iodine in pharmacies to try to protect themselves. Even the Catalan pharmacies disinfectant sold these days than ever.

The accident had revealed the disastrous nuclear plant safety. Spy satellites, informandoCinco days after the disaster, still ruled the uncertainty about the magnitude of the nuclear disaster and much of the known information came from U.S. spy satellites. UU. The USSR recognized two dead and 150 hospitalized and scientists began to speculate about the consequences of radioactivity: what happened at Chernobyl could produce thousands of cases of cancer in the most polluted areas.

While Europe was a time of panic, Soviet newspapers downplayed the incident and the USSR was celebrating an early May as a holiday. Chernobyl aisladoPronto was the recommendation not to travel to the USSR and Poland, shortly after it passed stringent controls to identify radioactive food and eventually banned food imports from Eastern fresh.

And today a meeting in Tokyo, the then U.S. President Ronald Reagan, tighten the nuts to the USSR by the Chernobyl accident. Eleven days later, the USSR gave explanations about the incident. It was known that the plant had been evacuated a day after the explosion, which had tried to neutralize the emissions with tons of sand and that 150 people remained in the area trying to mitigate the consequences: they were the liquidators human shields working in the exclusion zone (in 2006 Ima Sanchis interviewed one of them on the back: this was the interesting testimony).

May 11 made public the first pictures of the nuclear plant after an accident which would gradually increase the victims. In June and were 26 dead. And while, people tried to mitigate the effects of radiation with a curious cocktail: vodka with iodine. A year despuésEn April 1987, a year later, a chronology remember the Chernobyl accident and analyzed the causes that led to the accident.

Such was the radiation that was expanded by Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, three years after the USSR still grown on contaminated land. The event had also left their mark in humans: in 1995 was published between 1988 and 1994, 125,000 people had died from radioactive fallout and over 400,000 were still in treatment.

The nuclear explosion had increased by 200 the number of cases of thyroid cancer in children. Closure of the centralCatorce years after the catastrophe Ukraine announced the closure of Chernobyl, a facility that kept inside 180 tons of radioactive material. With the plant closed and a new count of victims spoke of seven million people being sick ...

a figure which remained in force in 2004. In 2006, the UN said that Chernobyl had killed 4,000 people. But the magnitude of the tragedy may never be known.

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