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Ukraine: Shadow of Chernobyl looms large over Kiev00:47

Ukraine: Shadow of Chernobyl looms large over Kiev

Ukraine, Kiev
April 26, 2013 at 12:07 GMT +00:00 · Published

Ukraine: Shadow of Chernobyl looms large over Kiev

Mourners gathered in Kiev on Friday to mark the 27th anniversary of meltdown at the Chernobyl nuclear reactor. During a memorial service in the Ukrainian capital, veteran soldiers and families held flowers and portraits of family members lost in the disaster.

A moment of silence was observed across Ukraine on Thursday night. Thousands of people, including the families of emergency services personnel who died fighting the accident took part. People traditionally commemorate the tragedy annually by launching balloons into the sky.

The meltdown of the number four reactor in Chernobyl's nuclear power plant on April 26 1986 created an explosion which released a quantity of radioactive Caesium into the air which dispersed throughout Europe and the Soviet Union. More than eight million people were exposed to elevated levels of radiation. The official death toll from the accident numbered 31, while thousands more may have suffered radiation-related illnesses such as increased risk of cancer and infant deformities.

To date, Chernobyl is still considered to be the worst civic nuclear accident in human history. Pripyat, a model Soviet town of over 50,000 residents and home to most of the workers at the nuclear power plant, has been abandoned for 27 years. A $2 billion (€1.5bn) internationally financed "Vector Complex" project is currently underway to clean up and cover the 30km uninhabited ring around the Chernobyl plant.

Ukraine: Shadow of Chernobyl looms large over Kiev00:47
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Ukraine: Shadow of Chernobyl looms large over Kiev

Mourners gathered in Kiev on Friday to mark the 27th anniversary of meltdown at the Chernobyl nuclear reactor. During a memorial service in the Ukrainian capital, veteran soldiers and families held flowers and portraits of family members lost in the disaster.

A moment of silence was observed across Ukraine on Thursday night. Thousands of people, including the families of emergency services personnel who died fighting the accident took part. People traditionally commemorate the tragedy annually by launching balloons into the sky.

The meltdown of the number four reactor in Chernobyl's nuclear power plant on April 26 1986 created an explosion which released a quantity of radioactive Caesium into the air which dispersed throughout Europe and the Soviet Union. More than eight million people were exposed to elevated levels of radiation. The official death toll from the accident numbered 31, while thousands more may have suffered radiation-related illnesses such as increased risk of cancer and infant deformities.

To date, Chernobyl is still considered to be the worst civic nuclear accident in human history. Pripyat, a model Soviet town of over 50,000 residents and home to most of the workers at the nuclear power plant, has been abandoned for 27 years. A $2 billion (€1.5bn) internationally financed "Vector Complex" project is currently underway to clean up and cover the 30km uninhabited ring around the Chernobyl plant.