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Minutes From Meltdown: Charting the Chernobyl Disaster 57

On April 26th, 1986, catastrophe struck the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Ukrainian city of Pripyat. Following a routine safety test late the previous evening, one of the facility's reactors critically malfunctioned at 1:23 am, resulting in an explosion and a fire which released large quantities of radioactive particles and isotopes into the earth's atmosphere. Add your own images and join us as we take a journey to the core of a cataclysm, creating a visual map to tell the story of one of the most controversial and infamous disasters in human history. The disaster was the worst nuclear power plant accident in history, and one of only two classified as a level 7 event - the maximum - on the International Nuclear Event Scale, the other being the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011. The battle to contain the contamination and avert a greater catastrophe ultimately involved over 500,000 workers and cost an estimated 18 billion rubles. Apocalypse was averted, but at an extreme cost as the incident tragically took the lives of 31 people. To make matters worse, the radioactive material released by the explosion began to spread through the skies of the western USSR and Europe and as a result, long-term effects such as cancers are still being investigated.

Last working reactor at Chernobyl closed

Dec 15 2000

A general view of the sarcophagus that covers Ukraine''s Chernobyl nuclear power plant''s fourth reactor, destroyed as a result of the April 26, 1986 explosion, is seen in this file photo made November 16, 2000 in Chernobyl, Ukraine. The last working reactor at Chernobyl, the site of the world''s worst nuclear accident in 1986, was shut down December 15, 2000.

Chernobyl 30th Anniversary

Apr 25 2017

Widows carry pictures of their husbands, killed in the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe, as they take part in the 'The Heroes Alley' march in memory of the Chernobyl victims, in Kiev on April 26, 2017. The presidents of Ukraine and Belarus toured on April 26 the site of the Chernobyl plant to mark 31 years since the 'unhealing wound' of the world's worst civil nuclear accident spewed radiation across Europe. The station's fourth reactor in the north of former Soviet Ukraine exploded in 1986 after a safety test went horribly wrong at 1:23 am on April 26.

Atomenergie Ukraine

Jan 1 1996

(GERMANY OUT) Kernkraftwerk Tschernobyl: Steuerzentrale - 1996 (Photo by Bonn-Sequenz/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

The sarcophagus containing the unit 4 reactor, chernobyl aps, ukraine, ussr, november 1986.

Jan 2 1986

The sarcophagus containing the unit 4 reactor, chernobyl aps, ukraine, ussr, november 1986. (Photo by: Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images)

Kiev region, ukrainian ssr, ussr, the chernobyl reactor after the explosion, april 26, 1986.

Jan 2 1986

Kiev region, ukrainian ssr, ussr, the chernobyl reactor after the explosion, april 26, 1986. (Photo by: Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images)

Kiev region, ukrainian ssr, ussr, the chernobyl nuclear power plant, february 1, 1979.

Jan 2 1979

Kiev region, ukrainian ssr, ussr, the chernobyl nuclear power plant, february 1, 1979. (Photo by: Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images)

Kiev region, ukrainian ssr, ussr, construction of the chernobyl nuclear power plant, july 1, 1975.

Jan 2 1975

Kiev region, ukrainian ssr, ussr, construction of the chernobyl nuclear power plant, july 1, 1975. (Photo by: Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images)

Kiev region, ukrainian ssr, ussr, construction of the chernobyl nuclear power plant, fitters n, shcherban and b, troitsky, july 1, 1975.

Jan 2 1975

Kiev region, ukrainian ssr, ussr, construction of the chernobyl nuclear power plant, fitters n, shcherban and b, troitsky, july 1, 1975. (Photo by: Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images)

Merkel, Angela - Politician, CDU, Germany, Federal Minister for the Environment, Germany - visiting the nuclear power station in Chernobyl, Ukraine - February 1996

Feb 1 1996

(GERMANY OUT) Merkel, Angela - Politician, CDU, Germany, Federal Minister for the Environment, Germany - visiting the nuclear power station in Chernobyl, Ukraine - February 1996 (Photo by Bonn-Sequenz/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

Chernobyl nuclear power plant reactor bl

Jan 1 1990

Chernobyl nuclear power plant reactor block 4, site of catastrophic 1986 accidental meltdown. (Photo by Chuck Nacke/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

USSR-UKRAINE-CHERNOBYL-GORBACHEV

Feb 23 1989

Chairman of the presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet Mikhail Gorbachev (C) and his wife Raisa Gorbacheva (2nd L) talk with officials of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on February 23, 1989 during Soviet Leader's first visit to the plant since April 1986 disaster. AFP PHOTO / TASS (Photo credit should read V. SAMOKHOTSKY/AFP/Getty Images)

USSR-UKRAINE-CHERNOBYL-GORBACHEV

Feb 23 1989

Chairman of the presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet Mikhail Gorbachev (C) and his wife Raisa Gorbacheva (2nd L) talk with officials of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on February 23, 1989 during Soviet Leader's first visit to the plant since April 1986 disaster. AFP PHOTO / TASS (Photo credit should read V. SAMOKHOTSKY/AFP/Getty Images)

The fully entombed unit 4 reactor, chernobyl aps, ukraine, ussr, winter 1988.

Jan 2 1988

The fully entombed unit 4 reactor, chernobyl aps, ukraine, ussr, winter 1988. (Photo by: Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images)

25 Years Since Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster

Jul 4 2001

CHERNOBYL, UKRAINE - JULY 04: Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant V.I. Lenin - The reactor number 4 is now enclosed in a large concrete sarcophagus on July 04, 2001 in Chernobyl, Ukraine. (Photo by Enzo Signorelli/Getty Images)

Chernobyl Nuclear Plant to Shut Down

Dec 6 2000

383108 15: A Soviet-era bust of Lenin presides over the entrace December 6, 2000 of the Chernobyl nuclear power complex, site of the worst nuclear accident in history, which spread radioactive material across Europe in 1986. The Chernobyl nuclear power plant is to be shut down for good December 15, 2000 and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development approved a $215 million loan to help Ukraine build two new nuclear reactors to compensate for energy lost after the Chernobyl closure. (Photo by Scott Peterson/Liaison)

Chernobyl Nuclear Plant to Shut Down

Dec 6 2000

383108 19: Technicians walk past the construction area set up to recover the explosion site December 6, 2000 at the Chernobyl nuclear power complex, site of the worst nuclear accident in history, which spread radioactive material across Europe in 1986. The Chernobyl nuclear power plant is to be shut down for good December 15, 2000 and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development approved a $215 million loan to help Ukraine build two new nuclear reactors to compensate for energy lost after the Chernobyl closure. (Photo by Scott Peterson/Liaison)

(FILES)- Picture taken from a helicopter

Dec 13 2000

Chernobyl, UKRAINE: (FILES)- Picture taken from a helicopter in April 1986 shows a general view of the destroyed 4th power block of Chernobyl's nuclear power plant few days after the catastrophe. A reactor at Chernobyl blew up on April 26, 1986 in the worst nuclear accident in history. It burned for some 10 days, sending radiation across a large swathe of Ukraine, Russia and Belarus. A World Health Organisation report released in September put the overall death toll from Chernobyl at 4,000, though the figure is disputed as being too low. According to the Ukraine, 2.4 million of its people, among them 428,000 children, suffer health problems linked to the nuclear disaster. AFP PHOTO/VLADIMIR REPIK (Photo credit should read VLADIMIR REPIK/AFP/Getty Images)

Chernobyl Nuclear Plant to Shut Down

Dec 6 2000

383108 09: A technician walks out of an area December 6, 2000 in the Chernobyl nuclear power complex, site of the worst nuclear accident in history, which spread radioactive material across Europe in 1986. The Chernobyl nuclear power plant is to be shut down for good December 15, 2000 and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development approved a $215 million loan to help Ukraine build two new nuclear reactors to compensate for energy lost after the Chernobyl closure. (Photo by Scott Peterson/Liaison)

(FILES) A file photo taken 14 April 1998

Apr 14 1998

(FILES) A file photo taken 14 April 1998 shows an emloyee at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in front of a control panel of the destroyed fourth power bloc of the plant. Ukraine marks 26 April 2006 the 20th anniversary of an accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, which affected millions of people, gobbled up astronomic amount of international funds and remains a grim symbol of hazzards of atomic energy. AFP PHOTO/ GENIA SAVILOV (Photo credit should read GENIA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images)

RETRO CHERNOBYL

Apr 12 1995

An employee works near the sarcophagus at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on April 12, 1995. / AFP / SERGEI SUPINSKY (Photo credit should read SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images)

Security personnel guard the entrance of

Apr 24 1996

Security personnel guard the entrance of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, near Pripyat, Ukraine 24 April, as security measures were reinforced in anticipation of the hundreds of visitor expected to visit the site on the 10th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Grass fields and forests near the nuclear plant continue to burn for the second day, which potentially could cause contaminated smoke to spread to populated areas. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read SERGEY SUPINSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Chernobyl Disaster - 30th Anniversary

Apr 7 2016

CHERNOBYL, UKRAINE - APRIL 07: View in operation room in factory for the treatment of hard radioactive waste at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine, 07 April 2016 (issued 18 April). Construction works for a new protective shelter which will be mounted over the old one are currently underway at the site near. The explosion of Unit 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the early hours of 26 April 1986 is still regarded the biggest accident in the history of nuclear power generation. Ukrainians will mark the 30 anniversary of Chernobyl's tragedy annually on 26 April 2016. (Photo by Vitaliy Holovin/Corbis via Getty images)

UKRAINE-CHERNOBYL

Jan 22 2016

A photo taken on January 22, 2016 shows a man walking by Chernobyl New Safe Confinement structure (NSC) under construction. On April 26, 2016 world will mark 30th anniversary of the one of the worst nuclear catastrophes. / AFP / GENYA SAVILOV (Photo credit should read GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images)

UKRAINE-CHERNOBYL-ANNIVERSARY-NUCLEAR

Dec 14 2015

This photo taken on December 14, 2015 in Chernobyl shows a construction site next to a shelter and containment area built over the destroyed fourth block of Chernobyl's old nuclear power plant . On December 15 Ukraine will mark 15th anniversary of the starting of decommission of the Chernobyl Power Plant. The last working reactor of the ChNPP was stopped on December 15, 2000. / AFP / GENYA SAVILOV (Photo credit should read GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images)

UKRAINE-CHERNOBYL-ANNIVERSARY-NUCLEAR

Dec 14 2015

Visitors and journalists gather in front of a shelter and containment area built over the destroyed fourth block of Chernobyl's old nuclear power plant on December 14, 2015 in Chernobyl. On December 15 Ukraine will mark 15th anniversary of the starting of decommission of the Chernobyl Power Plant. The last working reactor of the ChNPP was stopped on December 15, 2000. / AFP / GENYA SAVILOV (Photo credit should read GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images)

UKRAINE-NUCLEAR-CHERNOBYL

Apr 21 2015

A worker walks past a construction site for a spent nuclear-fuel storage facility next to the Chernobyl Nuclear Power plant, on April 21, 2015. The New Safe Confinement structure is being assembled in two halves, each comprising several arched sections. On April 25, 1986, an explosion during testing sent radioactive fallout into the atmosphere that spread across Europe, particularly contaminating Belarus, Ukraine and Russia. AFP PHOTO / ANATOLII STEPANOV (Photo credit should read ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP/Getty Images)

UKRAINE-NUCLEAR-ENVIRONMENT-ACCIDENT-SCIENCE-CHERNOBYL

Feb 25 2015

Employees work in the Industrial Complex for Solid Radwaste Management (ICSRM) at Chernobyl Nuclear Power plant on February 26, 2015. The New Safe Confinement structure is being assembled in two halves, each comprising several arched sections. On April 25, 1986, an explosion during testing sent radioactive fallout into the atmosphere that spread across Europe, particularly contaminating Belarus, Ukraine and Russia. AFP PHOTO / VOLODYMYR SHUVAYEV (Photo credit should read VOLODYMYR SHUVAYEV/AFP/Getty Images)

UKRAINE-NUCLEAR-CHERNOBYL

Apr 21 2015

Workers walk by a shelter and containment area built over the destroyed fourth block of Chernobyl's old nuclear power plant on April 21, 2015. The New Safe Confinement structure is being assembled in two halves, each comprising several arched sections. On April 25, 1986, an explosion during testing sent radioactive fallout into the atmosphere that spread across Europe, particularly contaminating Belarus, Ukraine and Russia. AFP PHOTO / ANATOLII STEPANOV (Photo credit should read ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP/Getty Images)

UKRAINE-CHERNOBYL-NUCLEAR ACCIDENT

May 15 1986

Undated picture of a military helicopter spreading stuff supposed to reduce the contamination of the air full of radioactive elements above the Chernobyl nuclear plant, a few days after its No. 4 reactor's blast, the world's worst nuclear accident of the 20th century. / AFP / TASS / STF AND - (Photo credit should read STF/AFP/Getty Images)

Chernobyl Disaster

Apr 15 1990

CHERNOBYL, UKRAINE, USSR - 1990: A man is measuring levels of radioactivity in the area surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear power plant four years after the disaster. Chernobyl, Ukraine, USSR, 1990. (Photo by Wojtek Laski/Getty Images)

Chernobyl...

Jul 15 1986

CHERNOBYL, UKRAINE, USSR - 1986: Chernobyl nuclear power plant a few months after the disaster. Chernobyl, Ukraine, USSR, 1986. (Photo by Laski Diffusion/Getty Images)

RETRO CHERNOBYL

Apr 12 1995

An employee works in the 3rd reactor hall at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on April 12, 1995. / AFP / SERGEI SUPINSKY (Photo credit should read SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images)

CHERNOBYL-NUCLEAR-EXPLOSION

Apr 30 1986

Soviet television showed, on April 30, 1986, this picture of the Chernobyl plant on which a half-destroyed building could be seen, but commentary said there had been 'no destruction, nor gigentic fires nor thousands of casualties'. / AFP / - (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

Chernobyl: first pictures after the nuclear disaster.

Jan 1 1986

CHERNOBYL, UKRAINE : View of the Chernobyl Nuclear power after the explosion on April 26 1986 in Chernobyl:,Ukraine. (Photo by SHONE/GAMMA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Kiev region, ukrainian ssr, ussr, unit control desk of the chernobyl nuclear power plant, april 18, 1983.

Jan 2 1983

Kiev region, ukrainian ssr, ussr, unit control desk of the chernobyl nuclear power plant, april 18, 1983. (Photo by: Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images)

30 years since Chernobyl nuclear disaster

Apr 23 2016

CHERNOBYL, UKRAINE. APRIL 23, 2016. A solid radioactive waste storage facility at the Chernobyl power station. On April 26, 1986, the fourth reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded causing the world's worst nuclear disaster. Pyotr Sivkov/TASS (Photo by Pyotr Sivkov\TASS via Getty Images)

30 years since Chernobyl nuclear disaster

Apr 23 2016

CHERNOBYL, UKRAINE. APRIL 23, 2016. A radioactive waste management facility at the Chernobyl power station. On April 26, 1986, the fourth reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded causing the world's worst nuclear disaster. Pyotr Sivkov/TASS (Photo by Pyotr Sivkov\TASS via Getty Images)

Chernobyl...

May 15 1986

CHERNOBYL, UKRAINE, USSR - MAY 1986: Chernobyl nuclear power plant a few weeks after the disaster. Chernobyl, Ukraine, USSR, May 1986. (Photo by Laski Diffusion/Getty Images)

Control Room in Chernobyl Nuclear Plant

Apr 1 1988

Technician monitoring nuclear power production in one of the undamaged reactors of the Chernobyl nuclear power complex. One of the reactors suffered a serious accident in 1986, two years before this picture was taken. All reactors in the complex have since been shut down. (Photo by Karen Kasmauski/Corbis via Getty Images)

Two employees at Chernobyl nuclear power

Apr 23 1996

Two employees at Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Kiev, Ukraine, pass through a radiation level checkpoint 23 April before entering the canteen. Four thousand people still work at the nuclear plant. AFP PHOTO Sergei SUPINSKY (Photo credit should read SERGEY SUPINSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

picture dated 04 March 1999 showing the

Mar 5 1999

picture dated 04 March 1999 showing the Third power block (R) and Fourth power block under 'sarcophagus' (L) of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Officials shut down the crippled Chernobyl nuclear power station 10 July 2000 as a safety measure due to flooding from torrential rains. (Photo credit should read SERGEY SUPINSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

30 years since Chernobyl nuclear disaster

Apr 23 2016

CHERNOBYL, UKRAINE. Pictured in this file image is a control desk of Unit 4 of the Chernobyl power station. On April 26, 1986, the fourth reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded causing the world's worst nuclear disaster. File image/Pyotr Sivkov/TASS (Photo by Pyotr Sivkov\TASS via Getty Images)

UKRAINE-CHERNOBYL-NUCLEAR-25YEARS

Apr 18 2011

A view of the 4th power block of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant taken on April 18, 2011. In the heart of Chernobyl, Ukrainian specialists regularly venture inside the concrete cover sheltering the ruined reactor after it exploded on April 26, 1986 to check its structure and radiation levels. AFP PHOTO / SERGEI SUPINSKY (Photo credit should read SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images)

RETRO CHERNOBYL-DISASTER

Jun 30 1988

View taken on June 30, 1988 of the Sarcophagus which covers the reactor number four of the Chernobyl nuclear plant which blew up at 1:23 am on April 26, 1986, spewing out a radioactive cloud and contaminating much of Europe. / AFP / VITALY ARMAND AND - (Photo credit should read VITALY ARMAND/AFP/Getty Images)

Aerial view of the containment sarcophagus of the entombed unit 4 reactor of the chernobyl aps, ukraine, ussr, october 1986.

Jan 2 1986

Aerial view of the containment sarcophagus of the entombed unit 4 reactor of the chernobyl aps, ukraine, ussr, october 1986. (Photo by: Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images)

UKRAINE/CHERNOBYL PLANT

Dec 3 1995

A security guard of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant orders a photographer to stop taking pictures 02 December at the gate of the station's melted Block 4. The concrete 'sarcophagus' sealing the radioactive block was completed nine years ago on 30 November, following the nuclear catastrophe of 26 April 1986 when a meltdown caused the reactor to explode, heavily contaminating the region and creating a cloud of fallout that went around the globe. / AFP / SERGEY SUPINSKI (Photo credit should read SERGEY SUPINSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

UKRAINE-NUCLEAR-ENVIRONMENT-ACCIDENT-SCIENCE-CHERNOBYL

Feb 25 2015

Employees work in the Industrial Complex for Solid Radwaste Management (ICSRM) at Chernobyl Nuclear Power plant on February 26, 2015. The New Safe Confinement structure is being assembled in two halves, each comprising several arched sections. On April 25, 1986, an explosion during testing sent radioactive fallout into the atmosphere that spread across Europe, particularly contaminating Belarus, Ukraine and Russia. / AFP / VOLODYMYR SHUVAYEV (Photo credit should read VOLODYMYR SHUVAYEV/AFP/Getty Images)

Employees At Work In The Nuclear Station Of Chernobyl

Dec 1 1980

RUSSIA - DECEMBER 01: A team at work in the nuclear station of Chernobyl, near Kiev, U.S.S.R., in December 1980. Reactor #4 of this station, one of the greatest in Russia, exploded in 1986. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)

Chernobyl - 20 Years After Nuclear Meltdown

Jan 24 2006

CHERNOBYL - JANUARY 24: The Sarcophagus of the Chernobyl Nuclear Reactor number 4 is seen on January 24, 2006 in Chernobyl, Ukraine. Within seven months the number 4 reactor building and its molten core was enclosed within a reinforced concrete casing. This shelter, or sarcophagus, was supposed to absorb the radiation and contain the remaining fuel. The sarcophagus was considered to be an interim measure. It was designed with a lifetime of only 20 to 30 years in mind. The greatest problem is a lack of stability as it was hastily constructed. A new structure designed to enclose the damaged reactor is due to be completed by 2008. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

UKRAINE-CHERNOBYL-ANNIVERSARY

Apr 8 2016

Employees walk past the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant sarcophagus, a massive steel and concrete structure covering the nuclear reactor No. 4 building of the Plant, on April 8, 2016. Ukraine is preparing to mark 30 years since the Chernobyl disaster, the world's worst nuclear accident whose death toll remains a mystery and which continues to jeopardise the local population's health. More than 200 tonnes of uranium remain inside the reactor that exploded three decades ago at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, raising fears there could be more radioactive leaks if the ageing concrete structure covering the stricken reactor collapses. / AFP / SERGEI SUPINSKY (Photo credit should read SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images)

Chernobyl, Nearly 30 Years After Nuclear Disaster

Jun 12 2013

Memorial sculpture close to nuclear reactor number 4 remember the dead workers in Chernobyl disaster, on June 12, 2013. The Chernobyl disaster was a catastrophic nuclear accident that occurred on 26 April 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the town of Pripyat, in Ukraine (then officially the Ukrainian SSR), which was under the direct jurisdiction of the central authorities of the Soviet Union. An explosion and fire released large quantities of radioactive particles into the atmosphere, which spread over much of the western USSR and Europe. (Photo by Celestino Arce/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Chernobyl Disaster - 30th Anniversary

Apr 7 2016

CHERNOBYL, UKRAINE - APRIL 07: A general view of the construction area of the Interim Spent Nuclear Fuel Dry Storage Facility (ISF-2) near Chernobyl nuclear power plant, in Chernobyl, Ukraine, 07 April 2016 (issued 18 April). Construction works for a new protective shelter which will be mounted over the old one are currently underway at the site near. The explosion of Unit 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the early hours of 26 April 1986 is still regarded the biggest accident in the history of nuclear power generation. Ukrainians will mark the 30 anniversary of Chernobyl's tragedy annually on 26 April 2016. (Photo by Vitaliy Holovin/Corbis via Getty images)

(FILES) A file photo taken 14 April 1998

Apr 14 1998

(FILES) A file photo taken 14 April 1998 shows emloyees at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant walking past a control panel of the destroyed fourth power block of the plant. Ukraine marks 26 April 2006 the 20th anniversary of an accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, which affected millions of people, gobbled up astronomic amount of international funds and remains a grim symbol of hazzards of atomic energy. AFP PHOTO/ GENIA SAVILOV (Photo credit should read GENIA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images)

BRITAIN-UKRAINE-BANKING-EBRD-ENERGY-NUCLEAR

Sep 17 2007

TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY ODILE DUPERRY BRITAIN-UKRAINE-BANKING-EBRD-ENERGY-NUCLEAR (FILES) This file picture taken on September 17, 2007 in Chernobyl shows a general view of the sarcophagus over destroyed 4th block of Chernobyl power plant. A visit to Chernobyl former power plant was organised on Tuesday May 20, 2008 following the decision by the EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development) to donate euros 135m ( dollars 212m or GBP 108m) to fund the new sarcophagus that will cover the damaged nuclear engine. AFP PHOTO/Genia Savilov/FILES (Photo credit should read GENIA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images)

RETRO CHERNOBYL

Apr 12 1995

An employee works near the sarcophagus at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on April 12, 1995. / AFP / SERGEI SUPINSKY (Photo credit should read SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images)

UKRAINE-NUCLEAR-ENVIRONMENT-ACCIDENT-SCIENCE-CHERNOBYL

Feb 25 2015

Photo shows a view of the Chernobyl New Safe Confinement structure (NSC) under construction, an arch that will cover the reactor building once it is moved into position over the Chernobyl Nuclear Power plant, on February 26, 2015. The New Safe Confinement structure is being assembled in two halves, each comprising several arched sections. On April 25, 1986, an explosion during testing sent radioactive fallout into the atmosphere that spread across Europe, particularly contaminating Belarus, Ukraine and Russia. AFP PHOTO / VOLODYMYR SHUVAYEV (Photo credit should read VOLODYMYR SHUVAYEV/AFP/Getty Images)

Chernobyl Power Station

Nov 1 1995

Chernobyl Power Station, reactor number 4, inside its steel and concrete sarcophagus, November 1995. (Photo by Martin Godwin/Getty Images)

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