6 months ago
Chernobyl mini-series from has just finished airing on HBO. The Typical Student team collected some interesting facts about the Chernobyl tragedy that happened 33 years ago, on April 26, 1986. Take a look at the quick facts about Chernobyl to check how much you actually know about the tragedy.
#1 Sweden was the first country to sent the radiation alert.
The USSR was concealing the Chernobyl blast from its own people. Sweden was the first to alert that something was happening.
#2 Radioactive Iodine was the primary death cause after the blast.
Radioactive isotopes (radioactive particles) were floating in the air and falling to the ground. After the blast, radioactive iodine was the primary cause of death. It is one of the most dangerous chemical elements as it rapidly accumulates in the thyroid gland, leading to thyroid cancer and death.
#3 Strontium-90 and Cesium-137 isotopes are the long-term killers.
Cesium-137 and Strontium-90 isotopes turned out the be the long-term killers as they have half-lives of 30 and 28 years, respectively.
#4 Radiation in Chernobyl is relative.
Levels of radiation are different at any given point. Alpha, beta and gamma rays are emitted from radioactive isotopes, they are capable of penetrating your cells and destroying your DNA.
#5 Nobody lives in Chernobyl.
Indeed, living in Pripyat is prohibited, still, there are people who come and leave the city and the nearby villages at different times.
#6 The animals are radioactive but doing well.
The radiation can cause odd growths and birth defects in the animals. However, the populations of rare animals that used to be at the brink of extinction have been restored. It is now possible to see animals like lynx that were believed to be hunted down in Ukraine.
#7 It is possible to visit Chernobyl.
Yes, you can actually go on an excursion to Pripyat from Kyiv. It's possible to book a one-day or a weekend trip to Pripyat.
#8 Greatest harm ended within weeks.
Just 15 minutes after the Chernobyl explosion "the radioactivity had dropped to one-quarter of its initial value; after 1 day, to one-fifteenth; after 3 months, to less than 1%," according to what scientists claim.
#9 The number of people exposed to radiation due to Chernobyl is astounding.
According to the WHO, 30,000 deaths can be attributed to the Chernobyl disaster. Over seven million people have been exposed to radiation from the accident.
#10 Comparing Chernobyl to Hiroshima.
The Chernobyl explosion unleashed about 400 times more radioactive fallout compared to the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 by the USA.
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