Chernobyl comparisons have pervaded the news since an earthquake and tsunami shook and then battered the Fukushima nuclear plant in northeast Japan on March 11. Now that we've come to the 25-year anniversary of the Ukranian nuclear disaster, mentions of the latest catastrophe in the Pacific have been somewhat muted -- though still present -- as attention turns to the people who survived what may be the most serious nuclear accident ever. Here's a look at the highlights of the coverage of Chernobyl, 25 years after the meltdown.
The ghost towns: The New York Times has a haunting set of photos of the mostly abandoned village of Redkovka and its few remaining residents. The Daily Mail also has a package of very surreal-looking images of the city of Pripyat, where children's rides and infrastructure crumbles in the elements.
The survivors: National Public Radio has a slide show, but focused its efforts on developing some very thoughtful feature coverage on the lingering health problems and emotional scars from the disaster, in particular on the emergency workers. Time also has a good (and long) feature on the continuing effort to contain the disaster and the plight of the survivors. One of the more unique angles comes from Fox News Latino, which has a feature on a group of survivors who have started new lives in Argentina.
The lingering effect: Radiation levels are still high and fish still inedible in the Chernobyl disaster zone. The Independent has a report on the broken concrete sarcophagus that contains the plant's deadly radiation, and the Guardian has a very thorough look at the "never-ending bill" from the disaster, as well as the extent of the still-present radiation. Meanwhile, Wales Online points out that farmers in the southern region of Britain are still worried about radiation.
The lessons learned: The UK Telegraph has a list of five lessons from the nuclear disaster, including things like "tell the truth" and "Evacuate," which seem obvious but which are still problematic today. On that very point, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev made headlines on Monday when he proclaimed that honesty from the authorities is the most important lesson from both Chernobyl and Fukushima.
The comparison to Fukushima: While coverage has focused on Chernobyl, Fukushima is a constant presence, and many articles go straight to the question of comparing the two disasters. Most notably, the head of the Chernobyl response, Soviet Colonel-General Nikolai Antoshkin said Japanese officials "wasted time" and reacted in "slow-motion." But many have been quick to point out that the disasters themselves were technically very different.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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