Located in The Settlement of Pripyat, Ukraine (formally a part of the Soviet Union) was the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station. This nuclear power station was not operated at the same quality and safety conditions as power plants in the US. Because of this disaster struck on April 26, 1986.
On the morning of April 25, 1986 there was a flaw in one of the reactors within the power plant. The engineers on duty made major mistakes while experimenting including:
- running reactors too low so reaction was unstable
- removing too many control rods to power it up
The nuclear power plant did not have a lot of emergency readiness to prepare for disasters like this
At about 1:23 in the morning on April 26, reactor No. 4 burst into a large chemical explosion. This explosion released about 50 tons of radioactive material with an on-going fire. For 10 days, firefighters and citizens worked to stop this fire, turning out to be the worst nuclear disaster yet.
This accident caused 31 direct deaths between workers and people near the explosion. It is estimated 5,000 Soviet citizens eventually died from cancer/radiation- illnesses. Many of the citizens affected by this felt as if their government didn't do it's job and it abandoned them by hurting everyone.
As for the Soviet Union, they tried to cover up any mistakes they made to cause this accident. They wanted to cover it up because they didn't want to be blamed for the many casualties that will soon come up from this accident. The world would be very mad at them and it could hurt the Soviets. Until finally on April 28, the Swedish announced the radiation levels were up 40%- forcing Soviets to confess.
As of now, clean up from the disaster is still going since much of the animal life and wild life were harmed. The radiation is still increased from before the accident.
Because of the much radiation, a children's cancer facility was made with Austrian aid. International charities fund many institutions that help the children victims. Woman who were affected by radiation are now seen do have defects with their children.
The Chernobyl Nuclear Accident was a major setback and failure for the Soviet Union during the Cold War. They tried to run away and hide from the destruction the have caused from the radiation. They then had a burden of dealing with the high levels through the Cold War. This shows that the Soviet Union was financially unstable and struggling to maintain a well working Power Plant. Throughout the Cold War their industries began to fall rapidly.