In his message for Chernobyl International Remembrance Day on Monday, the UN chief reminded that “disasters know no borders”.
A 20-second shut down of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on 26 April 1986, created a surge that led to a chemical explosion, which released nearly 520 dangerous radionuclides into the atmosphere. As a result, large parts of the former Soviet Union were contaminated; territory which now lies within the borders of Belarus, Ukraine and Russia, according to the UN.
Marking the 35th anniversary of the accident, Secretary-General António Guterres said that together, “we can work to prevent and contain [disasters]… support all those in need, and build a strong recovery”.
As one of the most serious nuclear accidents in history, nearly 8.4 million people in the three countries were exposed to radiation, according to the UN.
Some 350,000 were forced to leave their homes in severely contaminated areas, which left a deeply traumatic and lasting impact on their lives: “Their suffering must not be forgotten”, said the top UN official.
He also pointed to the anniversary as an occasion to recognize the recovery efforts led by the three governments as well as the work of “scientists who sifted through the evidence” to provide important analysis that has informed emergency planning and reduced risks. Read More/…
Image Credit: IAEA Imagebank Under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0
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