Yahoo! News Photo Staff

32nd anniversary of Chernobyl nuclear disaster

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https://www.yahoo.com/news/32nd-anniversary-chernobyl-nuclear-disaster-slideshow-wp-194756966.html

On April 26, 1986, reactor number four at the Chernobyl plant, some 100 kilometers north of the capital Kiev, exploded during a botched safety test.

The reactor burned for 10 days, sending radioactive elements into the atmosphere that contaminated three-quarters of Europe, according to some estimates.

Soviet authorities tried to cover up the accident. Sweden was the first to raise the alarm after scientists detected a spike in radiation levels on April 28. Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev did not make a public statement until May 14.

The number of deaths directly due to the accident is still a matter of debate, with estimates varying from around 30 to one hundred thousand.

In November 2016, a massive metal dome was erected over the remains of the reactor paid for with 2.1 billion euros ($2.5 billion) in international funding to stop future leaks and ensure the safety of Europeans for generations. (AFP)

Here’s a look at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant 32 years later.

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An employee walks at the control center of the stopped third reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine, April 20, 2018. (Photo: Gleb Garanich/Reuters)


A telephone is seen in a control center of the stopped third reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine, April 20, 2018. (Photo: Gleb Garanich/Reuters)


An employee measures the radiation level near a damaged fourth reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine, April 20, 2018. (Photo: Gleb Garanich/Reuters)


A control centre of the stopped third reactor is seen at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine, April 20, 2018. (Photo: Gleb Garanich/Reuters)


An employee is seen in a pump room of the stopped third reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine, April 20, 2018. (Photo: Gleb Garanich/Reuters)


A control panel is seen in a control centre of the stopped third reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine, April 20, 2018. (Photo: Gleb Garanich/Reuters)


An employee walks through the corridor of the stopped third reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine, April 20, 2018. (Photo: Gleb Garanich/Reuters)


A worker checks the radiation level in the 3rd reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear plant, in Chernobyl, Ukraine, Friday, April 20, 2018. (Photo: Efrem Lukatsky/AP)


A control panel is seen in a control centre of the stopped third reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine, April 20, 2018. (Photo: Gleb Garanich/Reuters)


Workers in protective suits walk through a passage at the Chernobyl nuclear plant, in Chernobyl, Ukraine, Friday, April 20, 2018. (Photo: Efrem Lukatsky/AP)


A visitor holds a butterfly that was found in a pump room of the stopped third reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine, April 20, 2018. (Photo: Gleb Garanich/Reuters)


A water tanker sprays water on a road to prevent radioactive dust from being blown away in front of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine, April 20, 2018. (Photo: Gleb Garanich/Reuters)


Journalists walk through the corridor of the stopped third reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine, April 20, 2018. (Photo: Gleb Garanich/Reuters)


Workers sweep radioactive dust at a nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine, April 20, 2018. (Photo: Gleb Garanich/Reuters)


An employee and journalists walk through the corridor of the stopped third reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine, April 20, 2018. (Photo: Gleb Garanich/Reuters)


A house is seen in the abandoned village of Zalesye near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine, April 20, 2018. (Photo: Gleb Garanich/Reuters)


An employee measures the radiation level as journalists take pictures at a control center of the stopped third reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine, April 20, 2018. (Photo: Gleb Garanich/Reuters)


Dogs are seen in front of a new Safe Confinement (NSC) structure over the old sarcophagus covering the damaged fourth reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, in Chernobyl, Ukraine, April 20, 2018. (Photo: Gleb Garanich/Reuters)


A general view of the new Safe Confinement over the 4th block of the Chernobyl nuclear plant, in Ukraine, 20 April, 2018. (Photo: STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images)


A flower is placed at the memorial during a commemoration ceremony to honour victims of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986 in Kiev, Ukraine, April 26, 2018. (Photo: Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters)