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

  • Chris McGrath / Getty

    Travels With Boji: Istanbul’s Commuter Dog

    The photographer Chris McGrath recently joined Boji, an Istanbul street dog, as he made his daily rounds on the city’s subways, ferries, trams, and buses.

  • Brook Mitchell / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Pony Man, Ancient Sword, Foam Fight

    Container ships at the Port of Los Angeles, morning light on mountains in Switzerland, a wearable soft toy in France, drag racing in Tennessee, glacier exploration in Austria, and much more

  • Saul Santos / AP

    The Ongoing Volcanic Eruption in the Canary Islands

    A month of lava flows and ashfall has taken a toll on several small towns on the island of La Palma.

  • Johan De Ridder / cupoty.com

    Winners of the 2021 Close-up Photographer of the Year

    Some of the winning and honored images from this year’s competition in close-up, macro, and micro photography