The day of the Chernobyl disaster – level 2

26-04-1986

The Chernobyl nuclear power plant was located 100 kilometers from Kyiv which is now the capital of Ukraine.

On April 26, 1986, engineers started a safety test of one of its reactors. During the test, the reactor began to overheat and an uncontrolled nuclear reaction  started.

Then, a big explosion came. The explosion opened the reactor.

There was a very high level of radiation coming out from the reactor. It was 400 times higher than when the Hiroshima nuclear bomb exploded.

There was also a fire there. When the firefighters came, they started to do their work. They didn’t know about the radiation. After some time, they started to feel bad and had problems with their stomachs.

36 hours after the explosion, 1,200 buses arrived in the area. The buses evacuated 49,000 people who lived in the area. These people never returned home.

The Soviet leaders didn’t speak openly about the disaster for some days. They said what happened only on May 1, when the radioactive cloud was already over other countries in Europe, and Swedish scientists measured unusually high radiation.

Difficult words: power plant (a factory which makes electricity), overheat (to become too hot), evacuate (to send people away from a dangerous place), measure (to find how big something is).

What do you think about this day?

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