Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: August 17, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412959216 | Print ISBN: 9781412959209 | Online ISBN: 9781412959216| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Shari R. Veil
On April 26, 1986, around 1:23 in the morning, unit 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant near Pripyat, Ukraine, exploded, sending millions of radioactive particles into the atmosphere. More than 350,000 people had to be evacuated or resettled from the most contaminated areas of Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia. The nuclear cloud traveled over much of Europe, falling as radioactive rain. Decades after the accident 4.5 million people continue to live in irradiated areas. This entry provides an overview of the multiple causes of devastation in addition to the consequences that continue to be felt by generations of Chernobyl survivors. Communication failures were an important component, and the fate of the disaster's survivors continues to appear in contemporary news reports. Human, technological, and systemic failures, alongside communication failures, came together to cause the Chernobyl catastrophe. The consequences of these multiple failures are still being felt today. Operators were conducting an ...