The ghostly silent Big Wheel located in the evacuated town of Pripyat.On this day in 1986, the masque of the friendly atom was ripped off to reveal the fiendish nature of nuclear energy. Every benefit humanity has ever received from atomic power was undone when reactor #4 at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station went critical after a series of explosions which destroyed the housing of the energy block, and resulted in an out-of-control meltdown. The ultimate cost of human life associated with this single event is incalculable.
© Chernobyl Interinform
© Chernobyl Interinform
Time was critical, and days went by before there was any official declaration by the Soviet Government that there was a problem* which would ultimately effect every person on this planet, making us all down-winders to the worst nuclear disaster in history... so far.
Gravity tugged at the heavy radioactive molten core... burning and boring deeper with every passing hour. It would burn its way through to the core of the earth unless it could be stopped. Hundreds of experienced miners were brought to the zone to perform a task never before undertaken. Teams worked non-stop to dig a diagonal shaft to a point directly beneath the highly radioactive molten core. The brave and indefatigable miners hollowed-out a large cavern, then pumped in millions of gallons of liquid nitrogen to create a subterranean reservoir. Nothing like this had ever been attempted, so everyone had their fingers crossed when the core melted through the ceiling of the chamber and dropped into the reservoir of liquid nitrogen. Fortunately it worked, and the meltdown was stopped. Unfortunately, Chernobyl is still an international problem that hasn't gone away and radiation continues to escape the damaged reactor site.
How much is that doggy in the window?
Ten million people were evacuated, many of them farmers, and pet owners, but no accommodations were made for the animals. All the pets and farm animals had to be left behind to fend for themselves. But after it was determined that contaminated creatures could wander out of the zone, extermination teams, called hunters, were sent in to find animals... and kill them. Horses, cows, dogs and cats... nothing was spared. The dead carcasses were dragged to the street, then loaded onto trucks and taken somewhere to be disposed of. Only one bullet per animal was allowed, therefore many were wounded and left to suffer and die.
The dogs barked excitedly. It had been a long time since anyone had been around, and they were happy to hear the voices of the men. With their tails wagging, the dogs came running to greet the armed men.
* "Problem? There's no problem... everything is great... fine... wonderful"
Have a nice meltdown!