Over thirty years ago, the world witnessed the worst nuclear disaster to ever occur in history. On April 26, 1986, a massive explosion occurred in Chernobyl due to a failure of the nuclear power station’s number 4 reactor. The amount of radiation that was released into the environment forever impacted the environment and the people currently residing in northern Ukraine. This picture is a perfect image of illustrating the fall of the Soviet Union under Gorbachev’s leadership; though he painted a positive and bright picture for the future of the Soviet Union, it would soon fail due to the lack of readiness for the challenges to come.
This disaster specifically created economic and political problems because of the way that it was handled by the government. While it was hushed by the government for about three weeks, finally, Gorbachev went on television to report the incident. This was one of the major reasons why the Soviet Union started to fall under his leadership, it had to do with his failure of putting the Soviet people as a priority. It caused great economic problems because of the cleanup efforts that was needed in order to decontaminate the site. It caused political problems because of Gorbachev’s decision to not inform the public about what exactly happened until three weeks after the nuclear event happened; it created citizens to not trust him.
Unfortunately, this event could have been avoided if the nuclear engineers had shut the plant down once they realized that the radiation levels were rising too high and too fast. Trying to research the limit of the nuclear plant, nuclear engineers thought that they were experienced enough to do such a test, however, had to reach the “shut down button” once chaos broke loose.
“Later reports would call the staff inexperienced, poorly trained. But that was not how they perceived themselves, Parashyn recalls. In their own minds, they were the best and the brightest, leading the way into a glorious future where power was abundant and life would have no limits. Their plant, after all, was only 16 years old.” (Ruined Chernobyl)
This excerpt from about a year ago shows exactly how this event could have been prevented, by hiring a well-educated staff . Now, thirty years later, this site is still contaminated with radiation and will be for about 3,000 more years. From the explosion, there were two immediate deaths; over the course of the next few days, twenty-nine people died in the hospital (New Scientist). Though there is much debate about the death total, “it is predicted that by 2065 Chernobyl, will have caused about 16,000 cases of thyroid cancer and 25,000 cases of other cancers, compared with several hundred million cancer cases from other causes” (New Scientist).
Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/world/article73405857.html#storylink=cpy