The Chernobyl Disaster: 25 Years Ago

The 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster is next month. On April 26, 1986, a series of explosions destroyed Chernobyl's reactor No. 4 station and several hundred staff and firefighters tackled a blaze that burned for 10 days and sent a plume of radiation around the world in the worst-ever civil nuclear disaster. More than 50 reactor and emergency workers were killed at the time. Assessing the larger impact on human health remains a difficult task, with estimates of related deaths from cancer ranging from 4,000 to over 200,000. The government of Ukraine indicated early this year that it will lift restrictions on tourism around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, formally opening the scene to visitors. It's expected, meanwhile, that a 20,000-ton steel case called the New Safe Confinement (NSC), designed as a permanent containment structure for the whole plant, will be completed in 2013.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • John Moore / Getty

    On the Border With the Photographer John Moore

    A collection of images from the southern U.S. border by the Getty Images photographer John Moore, showing the landscape, those who patrol the border, and those who choose to risk everything to cross it.

  • Mike Blake / Reuters

    Photos: A Tent City for Detained Children in Texas

    Inside a port of entry facility in Tornillo, Texas, temporary housing has been built for the newly overflowing population of unaccompanied minors and the children of detained migrant parents, under the new “zero-tolerance” policy.

  • Dolores Ochoa / AP

    Photos of the Week: World Cup, Skinny-Dippers, Urban Shepherd

    A wee Welsh bunny, Eid al-Fitr celebrations in Indonesia, a skyscraper-scaling raccoon in Minnesota, a meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Un in Singapore, and much more.

  • Michael Buholzer / Reuters

    Photos: Soccer Fields Around the World

    A look at the beautiful game in action in some small and unusual venues around the world.