The day of the Chernobyl disaster – level 1

26-04-1986

Chernobyl is in Ukraine. There is nuclear power plant in Chernobyl.

It is April 26, 1986. Engineers do some work on the reactor. During the work, the reactor starts to be very hot. A big explosion comes. The explosion opens the reactor.

There is a very high level of radiation in the reactor. It is much higher than the atomic bomb in Hiroshima.

There is also a fire there. When the firefighters come, they start to do their work. They don’t know about the radiation. After some time, they start to feel bad. They have problem with their bodies.

36 hours after the explosion, 1,200 buses come to Chernobyl. The buses evacuate 49,000 people who live in the area. These people never return home.

The Soviet leaders don’t speak openly about the explosion for some days. They start to speak about it openly on May 1. This is when the radioactive cloud is already over other countries in Europe. Swedish scientists know about high radiation.

Difficult words: power plant (a factory which makes electricity), reactor (an important part of a nuclear power plant), radiation (energy which comes from nuclear reactions), firefighter (a person who stops fires), evacuate (to send people away from a dangerous place), radioactive (when something sends out radiation), scientist (a person who understand science).

What do you think about this day?

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