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Chernobyl was one of the largest and most powerful nuclear reactors in the former Soviet Union. It was used to power the part of the U.S.S.R now known as Ukraine. Also it was thought of as one of the safest nuclear reactors in the world. But on April 26, 1986 something went terribly wrong. On that day, after a sudden power surge, two explosions destroyed the reactor core and blasted a large hole in the roof of the reactor building. The Chernobyl Accident negatively affected the climate, health, environment, agriculture, and the population of the Ukraine and surrounding countries. The disaster had a tremendous impact on the world's climate. Two explosions were followed by a prolonged release of large quantities of radioactive substances to the atmosphere. A widespread distribution of radioactivity throughout the Northern Hemisphere took place right after the accident. A contributing factor was the variation of meteorological conditions and wind regimes during the period of release. Activity transported by the multiple plumes from Chernobyl was measured not only in Northern and in Southern Europe, but also in Canada, Japan and the United States. The health impact of the Chernobyl accident can be described in terms of acute health effects (death, severe health impairment), late health effects (cancers) and psychological effects liable to affect health. The acute health effects occurred among the plant personnel and the persons who intervened in the emergency phase to fight fires, provide medical aid and immediate clean-up operations. A total of 31 persons died as a consequence of the accident, and about 140 persons suffered various degrees of radiation sickness and health impairment (NEA95). No members of the general public suffered these kinds of effects. However, many people suffered from late health effects such as thyroid cancer.
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