Health

After the Chernobyl disaster

Updated 1841 GMT (0241 HKT) August 17, 2017
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Laborers work on construction of the Soviet Union's Chernobyl nuclear power plant on July 1, 1975. The Chernobyl accident is the world's worst nuclear accident. The disaster sent a cloud of radioactive fallout over hundreds of thousands of square miles of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. The radioactive effects of the explosion were about 400 times more potent than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima during World War II. Sovfoto/UIG/Getty Images
The station came on-line in 1977, two years before this photo, and contained four reactors, each capable of producing 1,000 megawatts of electrical power. Sovfoto/UIG/Getty Images
Reactor number four exploded on April 26, 1986, releasing large amounts of radiation into the atmosphere. More than 100,000 people were evacuated from their homes. Sovfoto/UIG/Getty Images
People are scanned for radioactivity before evacuating the Ukraine in this undated photo. Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone/Getty Images
Three days after the explosion, on April 29, 1986, cranes are seen at the power plant. The disaster initially killed 32 people, but according to the United Nations, the explosion and fire that occurred affected, directly or indirectly, 9 million people because of the radioactive materials released into the atmosphere. SHONE/GAMMA/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images
In Finland, milk is tested by authorities for aftereffects of the radiation on April 30, 1986. Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone/Getty Images
West German Customs officials closely screen goods, cars and people coming in from Eastern Europe on May 5, 1986. Radioactivity from the Chernobyl nuclear plant threatened to contaminate crops. patrick piel/gamma-rapho/getty images
A farmer in Sweden wears anti-atomic clothes as he sifts hay possibly contaminated by the radioactive cloud from Chernobyl in June 1986. STF/AFP/Getty Images
Construction crews build a containment wall around the damaged unit four reactor in August 1986. Sovfoto/UIG/Getty Images
Control panels of the destroyed fourth power block on April 14, 1998. GENIA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images
Twenty-seven years after the nuclear disaster, engineers work on April 26, 2013, to construct a colossal arch-shaped structure to permanently cover the exploded reactor. STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images