Considering Chernobyl's Legacy, Decades On

May 31, 2019 | 19:04 GMT
A firefighter tackles a blaze within the 30-kilometer

A firefighter tackles a blaze within the 30-kilometer "no-go" zone around Chernobyl. Fires, which diffuse radioactive material, are frequent in this inhabited zone and are often started by homeless people.

(IGOR KOSTIN/Sygma via Getty Images)

On April 26, 1986, a steam explosion and subsequent fire at the No. 4 reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine, near the Belarusian border — then part of the Soviet Union — projected a plume of radioactive material into the sky. The subsequent contamination, driven by prevailing weather systems, would span across Eurasia. Over 30 years later, an exclusion zone with a radius of roughly 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) is still enforced. The catastrophic accident was the result of a flawed reactor design and lapsed safety protocols and the incident severely damaged the reputation of Soviet (now Russian) nuclear power production. In fact, the Russian nuclear sector — now led by state-owned company Rosatom — may never fully escape the ghost of Chernobyl.

Stratfor Senior Science and Technology Analyst Rebecca Keller and Senior Eurasia Analyst Eugene Chausovsky join Editorial Director Ben Sheen to explore the implications of the Chernobyl incident, then and now.

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