Serene moment commemorating victims of Chornobyl nuclear disaster on April 26, 1986 when Soviet Russian built electrical power plant blew up spewing radioactive isotopes into the atmosphere.
The Chernobyl nuclear power station located some 130 km north of Ukraine’s capital city Kiev and only 20 km from neighboring Belarus had four Soviet-designed RBMK 1000 graphite block reactors sitting near the Pripyat river to provide a cooling source for them.
The design now universally recognized as inherently flawed used enriched U-235 uranium fuel rods to heat cooling water creating steam to power massive turbines generating electrical power for the surrounding cities, towns, and villages including Kiev.
The RBMK-1000 was designed to produce plutonium, probably for the Soviet Union nuclear armament program, and also electric power for industry and lighting.
Criminal negligence by two plant workers and their management triggered a massive hydrogen gas explosion in reactor No.4 that detached a 1,000-ton steel plate covering the reactor’s core starting a chain reaction resulting in a second more powerful blast completely demolishing the reactor and its building.
Furthermore, hot, intensive, burning graphite fires then threatened adjoining reactor No.3 which was still in operation during this time.
We now know the Chernobyl No. 4 reactor contained about 190 metric tons of uranium dioxide fuel and fission products, and about 30 percent of this radioactive stuff escaped carried away by airflow into atmosphere.
Despite the severity of this emergency Moscow continued business as usual pretending nothing was going on meanwhile, the 115,000 residents of Pripyat, the nuclear workers model city, were finally being evacuated about 36 hours later.
Additionally, despite the whole world already knowing about the radioactive plume flowing around the globe Moscow continued their repressive, suppressive ways keeping their own citizens in dark about the disaster going on.
Soviet president Gorbachev and Communist party preferred to keep them ignorant therefore, scheduled May Day celebrations in Kiev, Ukraine were allowed to go on despite radiation deaths to plant workers already having occurred and local mass evacuations going on.
According to some “reliable” sources 28 reactor staff and “liquidators”or emergency workers were dead from radiation and thermal burns within 4 months moreover, there were about 7,000 cases of thyroid cancer in children less than 18 years old from affected areas when it happened.
Radiation is deadly, odorless, tasteless, an invisible killer that silently robs a person’s health eventually terminating life.
My picture depicts priest during a serene moment of silence solemn service at Mary Queen Of The World Cathedral commemorating the Chornobyl Disaster 30th Anniversary in 2016 by Montreal’s Ukrainian community.
This is my contribution for WP weekly photo challenge:”SERENE”.