Chernobyl 28 Years Later: Before, During and After The Worst Nuclear Disaster In History [SLIDESHOW]

 @neato_itsdennis on April 26 2014 3:45 PM
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    View of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant's fourth reactor in this May 1986 file photo. Engineers at Chernobyl nuclear power station shut down its last working reactor a day earlier than planned Thursday, in an impromptu attempt to impress visiting Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma. But officials said the plant, site of the world's worst nuclear disaster in 1986, would be restarted, so as not to spoil a televised button-pushing ceremony planned for Friday when the power station is finally put to rest. Chernobyl's Number Four reactor caught fire and exploded in April 1986, sending a radioactive cloud of dust over Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and other parts of Europe.(B&W ONLY) REUTERS/Vladimir Repik VR/VB
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    A helicopter sprays a decontaminating substance over the region surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear power station June 13, 1986. Reuters/Tass JAPAN OUT
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    Workers gather for a meeting in this November 1986 file photo, marking the accomplishment of the first stage of the concrete sarcophagus covering Chernobyl nuclear power plant's fourth reactor. Chernobyl's Number Four reactor caught fire and exploded in April 1986, sending a radioactive cloud of dust over Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and other parts of Europe. REUTERS/Vladimir Repik
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    A combination of images, taken in 1982 and on March 31, 2011 (bottom), shows the before and after view of the abandoned city of Prypiat near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Belarus, Ukraine and Russia will mark the 25th anniversary of the nuclear reactor explosion in Chernobyl, the place where the world's worst civil nuclear accident took place, on April 26. REUTERS/Vladimir Repik and Gleb Garanich
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    A combination of images, taken in 1982 and on March 31, 2011, shows before and after view of the abandoned city of Prypiat near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Belarus, Ukraine and Russia will mark the 25th anniversary of the nuclear reactor explosion in Chernobyl, the place where the world's worst civil nuclear accident took place, on April 26. REUTERS/Vladimir Repik and Gleb Garanich
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    A combination of images, taken in 1982 and on February 24, 2011, shows before and after view of the abandoned city of Prypiat near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Belarus, Ukraine and Russia will mark the 25th anniversary of the nuclear reactor explosion in Chernobyl, the place where the world's worst civil nuclear accident took place, on April 26. REUTERS/Vladimir Repik and Gleb Garanich
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    Rusting amusement rides are seen in the abandoned city of Prypiat, near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant February 22, 2011. Belarus, Ukraine and Russia will mark the 25th anniversary of the nuclear reactor explosion in Chernobyl, the place where the world's worst civil nuclear accident took place, on April 26. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
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    A worker measures radiation levels at a cemetery near the village of Rossokha for contaminated equipment used during the Chernobyl catastrophe inside the 30 km (19 miles) exclusion zone around the closed Chernobyl nuclear power plant March 30, 2006. [Ukraine is preparing to mark the 20th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear disaster, when a reactor at the Chernobyl plant exploded, spreading a radioactive cloud across Europe and the Soviet Union. REUTERS
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    Villager Ivan Shamianok, 87, poses for a picture at his house in the abandoned village of Tulgovichi, near the exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear reactor, some 370 km (230 miles) southeast of Minsk, April 24, 2012. Shamianok never left his village in spite of the Chernobyl blast, and he is now one of six last villagers that still live in Tulgovichi. Belarus, Ukraine and Russia will be marking the 26th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor explosion, the world's worst civil nuclear accident, which took place on April 26, 1986. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko
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    Villager Ivan Shamianok (L), 87, talks with former neighbours on the eve of "Radunitsa", or the Day of Rejoicing, a holiday in the Eastern Orthodox Church to remember the dead, at a cemetery in the abandoned village of Tulgovichi, near the exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear reactor, some 370 km (230 miles) southeast of Minsk, April 23, 2012. Shamianok never left his village in spite of the Chernobyl blast, and he is now one of six last villagers that still live in Tulgovichi. Belarus, Ukraine and Russia will be marking the 26th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor explosion, the world's worst civil nuclear accident, which took place on April 26, 1986. Picture taken April 23, 2012. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko
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    A checkpoint at the border of the exclusion zone surrounding the Chernobyl plant Flickr user Jennifer Boyer
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    A 1996 radiation map of the region surrounding Chernobyl CIA Factbook, Sting, Mtruch, Makeemlighter
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    A view shows the New Safe Confinement (NSC) structure at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant April 23, 2013. Ukraine will mark the 27th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, the world's worst civil nuclear accident, on April 26. The NSC, to be placed over the existing sarcophagus, will have a span of 247 meters (270 yards) and weigh 29,000 tonnes when fully assembled, according to the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
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    Ukrainian girl Annia, 11, a victim of radiation fallout from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, sits in an office at the Pediatric Hospital in Tarara, outside Havana, April 1, 2009. For the past 19 years, Cuba has been providing free health treatment to around 24,000 child victims of the Chernobyl explosion in Ukraine. REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa
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    People light candles at a memorial, dedicated to firefighters and workers who died after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, during a night service near the Chernobyl plant in the city of Slavutych April 26, 2013. Belarus, Ukraine and Russia marked the 27th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, the world's worst civil nuclear accident, on Friday. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
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Twenty-eight years ago today, a reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant situated near the Ukrainian and Belarussian border, sent deadly nuclear radiation into the air and spread thousands of miles across Europe and Asia. It was the worst nuclear disaster in history and stands as a somber reminder of the dangers inherent in nuclear power.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon issued a statement remembering those who died after the disaster and showing support for continued recovery and long-term solution efforts.

“This is an opportunity to pay tribute to the emergency workers who responded, remember the more than 330,000 people who were evacuated from contaminated regions, and stand in solidarity with the millions who still live in the affected areas in Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine.”

“On this solemn occasion, the secretary-general calls upon the international community to further support the process of recovery and sustainable development in the Chernobyl-affected region, to optimize the knowledge gained for the common good, and to do everything possible to prevent any future nuclear disasters.”

The Chernobyl saga is far from over. Today, teams are still working hard to clean up and contain the area. Some in the international community worry that the current unrest in Ukraine may hamper efforts to seal away the exploded reactor once and for all. The New Safe Confinement (NSC) structure would cover the existing (and somewhat hastily built) concrete sarcophagus that Soviet workers constructed to contain reactor 4's deadly radiation.Tthe NSC is expected to be finished by 2015, barring any major setbacks.

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