The 1986 Chernobyl meltdown was the biggest nuclear disaster in world history, releasing radioactive material 200 times greater than was released by both bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Because of the long half-life of radioactive materials, this is a tragedy that continues to unfold and affect new generations today and for the future.
A catastrophe of this magnitude is often difficult for our imaginations to grasp, but reading the stories of the individuals affected in different ways can help to put it into perspective. The people who were conscripted to clean up the toxic mess in the days and weeks after the meltdown have a story to tell. The people who lived near Chernobyl and were banished from their homes, never to return, have their own stories. The children who were born into the most toxic environment in the world also have stories that are important for the world to hear. And the brave and dedicated volunteers who now travel to Belarus to help rebuild these shattered communities have a different kind of experience to share.
Explore some of the first-hand accounts of Chernobyl, then and now.