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25th anniversary of Chernobyl accident

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the world’s worst nuclear disaster, the explosion in 1986 of a reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukraine – a bitter irony given the ongoing Fukushima-Daichii nuclear disaster. Nature‘s news editor, Mark Peplow, was on his way to Chernobyl to research a feature article for the anniversary of the accident just as the crisis at Fukushima-Daichii began. Mark’s feature “”http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110328/pdf/471562a.pdf">Chernobyl’s legacy" is a must-read. See also his piece, “”http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110328/full/news.2011.181.html “>Life as a liquidator.”

As Mark noted:

“In some ways, the connection between the two accidents may yield the biggest benefits for Chernobyl. For a brief window of time, the world has again focused attention on the largely overlooked work there. The renewed interest may spur nations to chip in the cash needed to complete the clean-up of the site, and to carry out health studies that have languished for want of proper coordination and funding.”

International donors last week pledged extra cash to help build an enormous cover over the Chernobyl reactor to replace its crumbling concrete sarcophagus – see “” http://blogs.nature.com/news/thegreatbeyond/2011/04/cash_promised_to_help_clean_up.html">Cash promised to help clean up Chernobyl."

Also worth checking out are Nature’s 2006 20th anniversary Chernobyl special and indeed out of historical interest our reporting on the accident back in 1986, including this special report.

The Chernobyl accident 25 years ago had a chilling effect on the commissioning of new reactors

IAEA age of reactors

Source: IAEA PRIS database

For full coverage of the Fukushima disaster, go to Nature’s news special. For a selection of our coverage in Japanese, see Nature Asia Pacific.

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