The day of the Chernobyl disaster – level 3
The Chernobyl nuclear power plant was located 100 kilometers from Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine.
On April 26, 1986, engineers started a safety test of the fourth reactor. They wanted to shut the reactor down for some time. However, instead of shutting down, the reactor began to overheat and an uncontrolled nuclear chain reaction started.
Then, a big explosion came. It was so strong that it broke through the two thousand-ton lid of the reactor and threw up its pieces to a height of one kilometer.
There was a very high level of radiation coming out from the reactor after the explosion. It was 400 times higher than when the Hiroshima nuclear bomb exploded.
There was also a fire there. The called firefighters thought they were fighting an ordinary fire. They received a full dose of radiation. They vomited and fainted.
36 hours after the explosion, 1,200 buses arrived in the area and evacuated 49,000 people from the nearby town of Pripyat. These people never returned home.
The Soviet leaders didn’t admit the full extent of the accident until May 1, when the radioactive cloud had traveled through Europe, and Swedish scientists measured unusually high radiation.
Difficult words: power plant (a factory which makes electricity), shut down (to close), lid (a cover), ordinary (usual), dose (an amount of something unpleasant that your body takes), vomit (to bring food up from your stomach), faint (to suddenly become unconscious for a short time), extent (how big something is).
What do you think about this day?
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