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31 years of the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster

World | Associated Press | April 26, 2017, 6:42 pm
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This photo taken Wednesday, April 5, 2017, shows a central square in the deserted town of Pripyat, some 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant Ukraine. Once home to some 50,000 people whose lives were connected to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Pripyat was hastily evacuated one day after a reactor at the plant 3 kilometers (2 miles away) exploded on April 26, 1986. The explosion and the subsequent fire spewed a radioactive plume over much of northern Europe. (Image: AP)

This photo taken Wednesday, April 5, 2017, shows a central square in the deserted town of Pripyat, some 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant Ukraine. Once home to some 50,000 people whose lives were connected to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Pripyat was hastily evacuated one day after a reactor at the plant 3 kilometers (2 miles away) exploded on April 26, 1986. The explosion and the subsequent fire spewed a radioactive plume over much of northern Europe. (Image: AP)

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This photo taken Wednesday, April 5, 2017, shows a room in a dilapidated building, part of a school in the deserted town of Pripyat, some 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant Ukraine. Once home to some 50,000 people whose lives were connected to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Pripyat was hastily evacuated one day after a reactor at the plant 3 kilometers (2 miles away) exploded on April 26, 1986. The explosion and the subsequent fire spewed a radioactive plume over much of northern Europe. (Image: AP)

This photo taken Wednesday, April 5, 2017, shows a room in a dilapidated building, part of a school in the deserted town of Pripyat, some 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant Ukraine. Once home to some 50,000 people whose lives were connected to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Pripyat was hastily evacuated one day after a reactor at the plant 3 kilometers (2 miles away) exploded on April 26, 1986. The explosion and the subsequent fire spewed a radioactive plume over much of northern Europe. (Image: AP)

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In this photo taken Wednesday, April 5, 2017, a new shelter is installed over the exploded reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear plant, in Chernobyl, Ukraine. April 26 marks the 31st anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. A reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded on April 26, 1986, leading to an explosion and the subsequent fire spewed a radioactive plume over much of northern Europe. (Image: AP)

In this photo taken Wednesday, April 5, 2017, a new shelter is installed over the exploded reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear plant, in Chernobyl, Ukraine. April 26 marks the 31st anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. A reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded on April 26, 1986, leading to an explosion and the subsequent fire spewed a radioactive plume over much of northern Europe. (Image: AP)

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In this photo taken Wednesday, April 5, 2017, a decrepit piano stands in a school in the deserted town of Pripyat, some 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant Ukraine. Once home to some 50,000 people whose lives were connected to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Pripyat was hastily evacuated one day after a reactor at the plant 3 kilometers (2 miles away) exploded on April 26, 1986. The explosion and the subsequent fire spewed a radioactive plume over much of northern Europe. (Image: AP)

In this photo taken Wednesday, April 5, 2017, a decrepit piano stands in a school in the deserted town of Pripyat, some 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant Ukraine. Once home to some 50,000 people whose lives were connected to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Pripyat was hastily evacuated one day after a reactor at the plant 3 kilometers (2 miles away) exploded on April 26, 1986. The explosion and the subsequent fire spewed a radioactive plume over much of northern Europe. (Image: AP)

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In this photo taken Wednesday, April 5, 2017, a bulletin board with pictures of Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin hangs on a wall in a school in the deserted town of Pripyat, some 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant Ukraine. Once home to some 50,000 people whose lives were connected to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Pripyat was hastily evacuated one day after a reactor at the plant 3 kilometers (2 miles away) exploded on April 26, 1986. The explosion and the subsequent fire spewed a radioactive plume over much of northern Europe.(Image: AP)

In this photo taken Wednesday, April 5, 2017, a bulletin board with pictures of Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin hangs on a wall in a school in the deserted town of Pripyat, some 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant Ukraine. Once home to some 50,000 people whose lives were connected to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Pripyat was hastily evacuated one day after a reactor at the plant 3 kilometers (2 miles away) exploded on April 26, 1986. The explosion and the subsequent fire spewed a radioactive plume over much of northern Europe.(Image: AP)

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In this photo taken Wednesday, April 5, 2017, small trees grow on a balcony in the deserted town of Pripyat, some 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant Ukraine. Once home to some 50,000 people whose lives were connected to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Pripyat was hastily evacuated one day after a reactor at the plant 3 kilometers (2 miles away) exploded on April 26, 1986. The explosion and the subsequent fire spewed a radioactive plume over much of northern Europe. (Image: AP)

In this photo taken Wednesday, April 5, 2017, small trees grow on a balcony in the deserted town of Pripyat, some 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant Ukraine. Once home to some 50,000 people whose lives were connected to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Pripyat was hastily evacuated one day after a reactor at the plant 3 kilometers (2 miles away) exploded on April 26, 1986. The explosion and the subsequent fire spewed a radioactive plume over much of northern Europe. (Image: AP)

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In this photo taken Wednesday, April 5, 2017, a broken clock hangs on a wall in a school in the deserted town of Pripyat, some 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant Ukraine. Once home to some 50,000 people whose lives were connected to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Pripyat was hastily evacuated one day after a reactor at the plant 3 kilometers (2 miles away) exploded on April 26, 1986. The explosion and the subsequent fire spewed a radioactive plume over much of northern Europe. (Image: AP)

In this photo taken Wednesday, April 5, 2017, a broken clock hangs on a wall in a school in the deserted town of Pripyat, some 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant Ukraine. Once home to some 50,000 people whose lives were connected to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Pripyat was hastily evacuated one day after a reactor at the plant 3 kilometers (2 miles away) exploded on April 26, 1986. The explosion and the subsequent fire spewed a radioactive plume over much of northern Europe. (Image: AP)

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In this photo taken Wednesday, April 5, 2017, an edition of the newspaper Sovetsky Patriot, dated three days before the nuclear explosion, is attached to a bulletin board in a house of culture in the deserted town of Pripyat, some 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant Ukraine. Once home to some 50,000 people whose lives were connected to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Pripyat was hastily evacuated one day after a reactor at the plant 3 kilometers (2 miles away) exploded on April 26, 1986. The explosion and the subsequent fire spewed a radioactive plume over much of northern Europe. (Image: AP)

In this photo taken Wednesday, April 5, 2017, an edition of the newspaper Sovetsky Patriot, dated three days before the nuclear explosion, is attached to a bulletin board in a house of culture in the deserted town of Pripyat, some 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant Ukraine. Once home to some 50,000 people whose lives were connected to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Pripyat was hastily evacuated one day after a reactor at the plant 3 kilometers (2 miles away) exploded on April 26, 1986. The explosion and the subsequent fire spewed a radioactive plume over much of northern Europe. (Image: AP)

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In this photo taken Wednesday, April 5, 2017, a radioactivity sign stands in the ground, outside Chernobyl, Ukraine. April 26 marks the 31st anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. A reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded on April 26, 1986, leading to an explosion and the subsequent fire spewed a radioactive plume over much of northern Europe. (Image: AP)

In this photo taken Wednesday, April 5, 2017, a radioactivity sign stands in the ground, outside Chernobyl, Ukraine. April 26 marks the 31st anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. A reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded on April 26, 1986, leading to an explosion and the subsequent fire spewed a radioactive plume over much of northern Europe. (Image: AP)

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This photo taken Wednesday, April 5, 2017, shows a gymnasium in a school in the deserted town of Pripyat, some 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant Ukraine. Once home to some 50,000 people whose lives were connected to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Pripyat was hastily evacuated one day after a reactor at the plant 3 kilometers (2 miles away) exploded on April 26, 1986. The explosion and the subsequent fire spewed a radioactive plume over much of northern Europe. (Image: AP)

This photo taken Wednesday, April 5, 2017, shows a gymnasium in a school in the deserted town of Pripyat, some 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant Ukraine. Once home to some 50,000 people whose lives were connected to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Pripyat was hastily evacuated one day after a reactor at the plant 3 kilometers (2 miles away) exploded on April 26, 1986. The explosion and the subsequent fire spewed a radioactive plume over much of northern Europe. (Image: AP)

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In this photo taken Wednesday, April 5, 2017, journalists take a selfie in front of the monument of Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin in Chernobyl, Ukraine. April 26 marks the 31st anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. A reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded on April 26, 1986, leading to an explosion and the subsequent fire spewed a radioactive plume over much of northern Europe.(Image: AP)

In this photo taken Wednesday, April 5, 2017, journalists take a selfie in front of the monument of Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin in Chernobyl, Ukraine. April 26 marks the 31st anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. A reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded on April 26, 1986, leading to an explosion and the subsequent fire spewed a radioactive plume over much of northern Europe.(Image: AP)