This Day In History: April 26, 1986


Xavier Rojas, Staff Writer

On this day in history, April 26, 1986, the No. 4 nuclear reactor in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant near Pripyat, Ukraine had a meltdown. It was one of the worst disasters in human history.

The meltdown caused radiation to spread a kilometer away from the initial sight, reaching the United Kingdom. 28 people initially died from the accident, and an additional 15 people have died due to the effect of the meltdown.

During the Cold War, the West saw this as a weakness, and viewed the Soviet Union as being a technologically inferior superpower that was messing with stuff they should not have been messing with in the first place.

After the accident, it was determined that human life cannot safely live around Chernobyl for the next 20,000 years, at least, and the town of Pripyat will remain as a ghost town for that time.