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Chernobyl Aftertaste: Nuclear Ruins Still Toxic Even After 30 Years

Apr 19, 2016 04:21 AM EDT
Chernobyl, Nearly 30 Years Since Catastrophe
PRIPYAT, UKRAINE - APRIL 09: Small dosimeters that measure radiation dosage and used by emergency workers following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster lie scattered on the ground outside on April 9, 2016 in Pripyat, Ukraine. Pripyat, built in the 1970s as a model Soviet city to house the workers and families of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, now stands abandoned inside the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, a restricted zone contaminated by radiation from the 1986 meltdown of reactor number four at the nearby Chernobyl plant in the world's worst civilian nuclear accident that spewed radiaoactive fallout across the globe. Authorities evacuated approximately 43,000 people from Pripyat in the days following the disaster and the city, with its high-rise apartment buildings, hospital, shops, schools, restaurants, cultural center and sports facilities, has remained a ghost-town ever since. The world will soon commemorate the 30th anniversary of the April 26, 1986 Chernobyl disaster. Today tour operators bring tourists in small groups to explore certain portions of the exclusion zone.
(Photo : Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Thirty years after what many has considered their worst nightmare, the effects of the Chernobyl explosion still live on. Many may have escaped from death but most of those who have been affected by the incident are still carrying the upshot of the trauma.

As per Science World Report, on April 26, 1986, a test was being conducted on a nuclear power station cited in Pripyat, Ukraine exploded accidentally.

Technicians were testing the turbines capacity to run cooling pumps even in the absence of power when the power unexpectedly rose causing the reactor's fuel rod to break. To their surprise, the emergency shutdown did not work resulting to an explosion in unit 4 of Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

Two workers died on the spot and 28 others few weeks later due to radiation poisoning. Millions were affected by toxic radiation exposure. 4,000 cases of thyroid cancer have been reported, 2,000 of them were children. recently featured a study conducted by Yury Bandazhevsky, a scientist studying about the long term effect of Chernobyl explosion on human health. He found out that even after 30 years, the effects of the explosion remains to be actively toxic to people living in places who received radioactive fallout.

He observed the higher amount of homocysteine, an amino acid linked to heart disease on 80 percent of teenagers. Serious hormonal level changes were also found in 45 percent of the children. Premature death is larger in the places near the explosion site which clearly shows the long-time toxic effect of Chernobyl on human health.

Though the Chernobyl explosion was condemned worldwide, resulting to a call for the re-evaluation of the reactors and the industry itself, Ukraine and some other countries still remain to be dependent on atomic power especially in Ukraine's present economic status shrinking by 10 percent.

"We're not so radical as to say we should just close everything in one moment," said Yuri Urbansky, head of the National Ecological Center of Ukraine. "We just want the state to develop a program of a gradual phase-out from nuclear energy," he added, according to NBC News.

See video below to find out more about the Chernobyl aftertaste.

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