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Photos: The Chernobyl disaster
A reactor at the Chernobyl power plant exploded on April 26, 1986, releasing large amounts of radiation into the atmosphere.

Volodymyr Repik/AP

Updated 8:59 PM ET, March 11, 2022

A reactor at the Chernobyl power plant exploded on April 26, 1986, releasing large amounts of radiation into the atmosphere.

Volodymyr Repik/AP

The Chernobyl nuclear power plant is the site of the world’s worst nuclear accident.

When an explosion ripped through Chernobyl’s No. 4 reactor on April 26, 1986, more than 30 people were killed near Pripyat, Ukraine. Countless more people have since died from the radiation, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency and the World Health Organization.

The disaster sent a cloud of radioactive fallout across hundreds of thousands of square kilometers across Ukraine, Russia and Belarus. The radioactive effects of the explosion were about 400 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima during World War II.

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