Tony Flood has highlighted a WordPress posting by Krista of an original post by Peter Zarko-Flynn.
The world’s worst nuclear accident occurred at Chernobyl in, what was then, the USSR in the early hours of 26 April 1986 but we did not hear about it in the UK until some days later, when Swedish scientists detected abnormally high levels of radiation in their atmosphere.
Due to the secrecy of the Soviet Union, it took some additional time before the enormity of the accident became apparent, by which time a cloud of radiation had already swept across the north-west coast of England and poured its contaminated rain down upon us.
I still have a vivid memory of sitting in my Politics ‘O’ Level class and my teacher, Mr McLoughlin, talking to us about the reactor burning out of control and how it may sink into the earth. It struck me that this was a disaster beyond anything I had experienced in my life, at that point. And that memory, from a day in my final year of secondary school, has never left me.
I continued to think about Chernobyl over the years but my interest was seriously reignited after I met my husband. His family originally come from Ukraine and he still has close relatives in Kiev, which is only a two-hour drive from Chernobyl. We visited them shortly after we met and, as we sat down for Easter dinner, they told us how they had to flee Kiev for three years due to fears about radiation from the disaster. During that visit, we found out that it was possible to take an official tour of the exclusion zone and we pledged that we would do it on our next visit.
This year, on 26 January 2016, almost 30 years after the disaster, we fulfilled that pledge.
Details of this visit can be found
We are told that, despite the potential radiation exposure, there are a few women still living in the Chernobyl exclusion zone. But this tragedy was so horrific that it is unlikely humans will be able to properly settle back there for tens of thousands of years. I have referred in another blog on this site BELOW to how we should be grateful to have escaped such tragedies. We should be thankful also that we have not found ourselves in a similar plight to that of the McCann family and the SAS officer put in prison for keeping a gun as a reminder of his brave colleagues.