Chornobyl Nuclear Catastrophe
Ten Years After April 26, 1986

Andrew Gregorovich

Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant
Chornobyl Nuclear Plant today covered by the Sarcophagus.
Photo by Lu Taskey.


"The odds of a meltdown are one in 10,000 years. The plants have safe and reliable controls that are protected from any breakdown with three safety systems."

Vitaly Sklyarov, Minister of Power for the Ukrainian SSR., February 1986

Ten Years after the world's worst nuclear accident at Chornobyl Unit number 4 in Ukraine on Saturday, April 26, 1986 at 1:23 a.m. the disaster silently continues to claim its victims. The world's worst accident, the Chornobyl disaster a decade later seems to have disappeared from the awareness of the world as it has faded from the pages of the newspapers.

Only 31 victims were officially recorded by the Soviet government at the time of the accident and Moscow's attempt to cover up the disaster still affects the historical record of the event today. Reliable information about Chornobyl is still not easily determined and accurate statistics are difficult to confirm.

Chornobyl above all hit Ukraine and Belarus, as well as SW Russia where most of the radioactive contamination affected people, especially children, and tremendous areas of fertile land.

The incredible spread of radioactive particles from the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant throughout Europe in serious amounts and in lesser amounts across the entire northern hemisphere, including Canada and the United States, and the entire world is astonishing. Especially in view of the fact that the Kremlin for almost three days thought they could keep it a secret from the world and cover up the accident. The safety of its people was secondary in the minds of the Soviet bureaucrats in Moscow. It was the first few days of totalitarian silence and the insistence that no help was needed from the western world that resulted in the terrible consequences that millions of people today are facing.

Map of Europe Every nation clearly has a responsibility to design and maintain safe nuclear reactors because radioactivity respects no national borders.

There have been many nuclear power station incidents and some major accidents such as Windscale (United Kingdom 1957), Kyshtym (Russian SFSR 1958) and Three Mile Island (U.S.A. 1979). However, the Chornobyl disaster surpasses them all in size and impact it has had on Europe and the world. This impact is not diminishing with time; it is a growing problem.

The reactions to Chornobyl by governments were strong. Sweden was the first country to signal an alarm at 9:30 a.m. on Monday when the staff at the Forsmark Nuclear Power Plant measured a dangerous surge in radioactivity. At first they thought their own plant was the cause but then they realized that it was coming from the southeast, from the Soviet Union, and eventually Chornobyl some 800 miles away was pinpointed from wind patterns. Moscow had been silent about the accident for over two days.

Swedish diplomats in Moscow asked questions but the Soviet government did not reply. Finally, almost 12 hours later at 9:02 p.m. April 28 the Moscow TV news announced, in a very short four sentence statement, that "an accident had occurred at the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant" with no details. On April 30 Moscow newspaper Pravda breaks Soviet silence and announced the Chornobyl accident.

On Tuesday morning several European governments asked Moscow for more information but there was no response. At the same time the Soviet government was secretly approaching Sweden, West Germany and Britain for advice on putting out a graphite fire in a nuclear reactor core. It took 12 days and 10,000 tons of sand, lead, clay and boron dropped from helicopters to diminish the fire which was pouring 150 million curies of radioactivity into the air. The helicopter pilots died from radiation and a dozen giant helicopters became so radioactive that they had to be abandoned with other radioactive trucks, cars and equipment in the Zone. The Zone is a 30 kilometer (18 mile) radius circle area of about 1,000 square miles centered on Chornobyl/Pripyat emptied of 135,000 people which is now closed. Only a few elderly people have returned to live in their old homes in the radioactive Zone.

Reactor No. 4
The destroyed Chornobyl Reactor No. 4 after the accident.

Some heroes have emerged from the disaster and among them are six firemen including Victor Kibenok and Volodymyr Pravyk who sacrificed their lives in fighting the 100-foot-high fire. American firefighters in New York State presented an award to the Ukrainian firemen in recognition of their courage. The American doctor Robert Gale of California operated with bone marrow transplants on 13 Chernobyl victims, most of whom apparently did not survive.

Prompt evacuation was necessary for the health of the local population. Communist bureaucrats rushed their own children away from Kiev before anyone knew what had happened. Some evacuation of population from Chornobyl/Pripyat took place two days after the event according to the Soviet government while most Western sources say it was three days. The risk of radioactivity affecting health is highest at the beginning and children's thyroid will become affected in the first few hours after a nuclear accident and will probably lead to cancer.

The Prime Minister of Ukraine, Alexander Lyashko, said on May 8 that the authorities ordered the major part of the evacuation six days after the accident. According to Pravda (May 6 and 19, 1986) some individuals panicked and at least seven were punished. This included three Communist Party members who were responsible for bungling the evacuation. On July 30, 1987 it was reported that three Russians, Chornobyl Director Victor Bryukanov and deputies Nikolai Fomin and Anatoly Dyatlov were brought to trial and "were found guilty of gross violation of safety regulations which led to the explosion" and were sentenced to 10 years in labor camp.

The first radioactive cloud went high into the atmosphere and winds blew it northwest away from Ukraine toward Sweden. It was Kiev's good fortune that the wind carried the radioactive cloud away at first rather than directly to the Ukrainian capital and its 3 million population as it did several days later.

Ukrainian party leader Volodymyr Shcherbirsky visited the Chornobyl area on Friday, May 2. Shcherbitsky survived the Chornobyl crisis and was not criticized in the Western press as was Gorbachev for his long 18 day delay in speaking publicly on Moscow television about Chornobyl on May 14.

The Soviet government was very slow to warn its citizens of the precautions they should take: keep children and pregnant women indoors, avoid fresh vegetables and milk, don't drink rainwater, and wash your clothes and your shoes every time you come in. Poland immediately distributed iodine tablets to children to protect them from thyroid cancer. Kiev radio finally on May 6, eleven days late, warned its audience not to eat leafy vegetables and to stay indoors as much as possible.

The terrible accident did not interfere with the May Day parades held on the 1st of May in the Ukrainian capital Kiev and the Byelarus capital Minsk. Apparently the government wanted to emphasize that all was "normal" although the reactor was still burning and invisible, deadly radioactivity was pouring into the air. However, the Soviet Communists bureaucrats and the nomenklatura immediately after the accident removed their children from Kiev and other threatened areas while assuring others that everything was normal until several days later.

The Ukrainian Weekly
Chornobyl plume approaching and over the United Kingdom and Ireland. Diagonal lines indicate rain.

The first real information in the western world came on Tuesday morning, April 29, when a powerful American reconnaissance satellite provided Washington analysts with photos of Chornobyl. They were shocked to see the roof blown off above the reactor and the glowing mass still smoking. The first Soviet photos of the Chornobyl accident were censored by removal of the smoke before being printed in the newspapers. The American photo also clearly showed that the nearby town of Pripyat, the residence for Chornobyl workers, had not yet been evacuated and that some men were playing soccer in a field. Today Pripyat is a radioactive ghost town that will be abandoned for thousands of years.

American analysis of electronic communications indicates that the first emergency action started on Friday, April 25. Reports of the accident were provided to Moscow in 90 minutes but the government revealed it only three days later. Moscow ran all the nuclear power stations in Ukraine and kept them under tight control.

The slowness of the Soviet government in providing factual information led to much speculation by western experts and journalists. UPI reported that 2,000 died and were buried in mass graves. But the official Soviet account of casualties was low: 2 killed immediately in the explosion and a total of 31 dead by August with 300 seriously injured in the 18-mile danger zone. Scientists have projected various calculations on the potential death toll from Chornobyl and these range from 10,000 to 125,000 already dead or mortally ill.

Because of the disinformation, limited information and news coverage by the Soviet government in the first two crucial weeks there was little sympathy around the world for the victims of Chornobyl unlike the tremendous world response to the Challenger spaceship tragedy earlier in the year. But this was also because the television cameras were at Cape Canaveral and we were all witnesses of the space tragedy. Although the Soviet media minimized and censored the Chornobyl disaster for five years until the USSR collapsed, the Voice of America, Radio Liberty and the BBC steadily broadcast information into Ukraine to help fill the information gap for Ukrainians in the first crucial weeks.

The Zone is a radioactive area centered on Chernobyl and Pripyat of some 1,000 square miles from which 135,000 people were evacuated in 1986-87. Since then several hundred of the older generation have slowly returned to their homes in the Zone and, in spite of the radioactivity, some have lived there up to five years. The old people say that can't see, taste, smell or touch the invisible deadly radiation so it doesn't bother them.

The real tragedy is being felt by the children and the younger generation families of Chornobyl and Pripyat.Mey have not only lost some of their loved ones they have also been uprooted completely. Almost all of their worldly possessions have had to be abandoned whether family heirlooms, art or photographs. These people were settled in new communities southwest of Kiev.

Ukraine has suffered greatly. This breadbasket of Europe, which grows so much wheat, has had a large area contaminated by invisible radiadon. The rich, black Ukrainian earth here will not grow safe food for many years although scientists have been surprised how quickly some of the radioactivity has disappeared. It all depends on the kind of radioactive particles since some will be radioactive for centuries and thousands of years.

All Ukraine's neighboring countries such as Belarus, Russia, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania suffered contamination as did Germany, Scandinavia, Austria and most of Europe. The bill will be in the billions of dollars.

One of the greatest fears has been the danger of radioactive contamination of the water supply of Ukraine. This includes especially the Ukrainian capital Kiev with its almost 3 million population which is about 70 miles downriver from Chornobyl-Pripyat. About 10 million people depend on the Dnipro (Dnieper) River for their water so it is vital to protect it from contamination. Chornobyl could have poisoned the entire heartland of Ukraine.

Many Ukrainians and Belarusians have now felt and will feel the pain of the silent, invisible and deadly radioactivity created by the sinister uncontrolled atom in the Chornobyl nuclear accident. We can sympathize with their pain and grief. The cost to Ukrainians in human suffering is immense but the material costs are also staggering since it takes about 5 percent of Ukraine's annual budget. The black cloud of Chernobyl will long hover over Ukraine.

But Chornobyl is also a real tragedy for the world since it has shaken the nuclear power industry and its promise of an inexhaustible supply of energy for mankind. Some countries, like France, are highly dependent on nuclear power for electricity. Apparently the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over the past ten years has tried to minimize the lasting effects of the Chornobyl accident and as a result there is a perception that the problem has disappeared. The IAEA and some scientists represent a viewpoint which considers that Chornobyl is not an ongoing serious health threat but diametrically opposed to this view are doctors and scientists that consider it an extremely serious and lasting problem. This creates a tremendous discrepancy in the statistics offered by various writers and scholars which will only be resolved when the government of Ukraine offers a definitive report on Chornobyl and its consequences free of Soviet secrecy and misrepresentation which still cloud the subject.

Western governments have provided very little assistance for the victims of Chornobyl over the last decade and relatively little research has been done. Some Ukrainian scientists and doctors find it surprising that so few scientists from around the world have been interested in the problem.

At the end of August in 1986, after only four months, the government of the USSR released a 382-page report on the Chornobyl accident which astounded nuclear experts. They learned that it was not caused by a failure in the design of the nuclear reactor. The nearly unbelievable story is that the operators of the plant deliberately turned off three separate safety systems to conduct - ironically - a safety experiment.

RBMK 1000 Reactor


1 -- bearing steel structure; 2 -- inividual water pipes; 3 -- lower steel structure; 4 -- side biological shield; 5 -- graphite brickwork; 6 -- drum separator; 7 -- individual water-steam pipe; 8 -- upper steel structure; 9 -- unloading and loading machine; 10 -- upper central floor; 11 -- upper side floor; 12 -- the system controlling the tightness of fuel element's jacket; 13 -- main circulating water pump; 14 -- induction manifold; 15 -- pressure manifold.

Experts say that the reactor design should have been such that the possibility of such incompetent staff would still not allow them to destroy the re-actor. The RBMK 1000 reactor in Chornobyl is an old graphite design which lacks a containment structure. (The design was favored by the Kremlin because it could also produce nuclear military weapons.)

These containment buildings exist on most reactors outside the former USSR and would probably have prevented the escape of most of the radioactivity at Chernobyl.

The destroyed reactor is now buried in a concrete tomb some 12 stories high but it will be radioactive for many centuries if not thousands of years. This concrete sarcophagus should have been built to last as long as the pyramids of Egypt, but Soviet inefficiency created a structure which is already cracking and deteriorating. The great danger is that if the sarcophagus or the reactor building which partly supports it, collapse about 30 tons of radioactive dust will be shot into the atmosphere to create a second Chornobyl that will create a radioactive cloud around the world.

About 650,000 people participated in the cleanup and building of the sarcophagus. The cleanup people, who were called liquidators, were often army conscripts and soldiers age 18 to 30 who had no choice and had insufficient protective clothing. It is estimated by Dr. Rosalie Bertell that 8,000 to 10,000 of these are now dead.

The legacy of Chornobyl on its tenth anniversary includes not only the human victims and the material losses. Future generations will also be affected by damaged genes and chromosomes so there has been biological damage to the Ukrainian nation.

Chornobyl was also probably the catalyst and major factor in awakening the captive nations in the USSR to struggle for their independence. The citizens of Ukraine finally realized that Moscow was destroying their environment and endangering the health and lives of all the people. This was the inspiration for the Rukh movement which spearheaded the nation to seek freedom from Moscow. The long struggle ended with the demise of the USSR and the independence of Ukraine on August 24, 1991.

Andrew Gregorovich


Map of The Zone

THE ZONE is an area of 1,104 square miles centered on the nuclear plant site which has been evacuated of all its population. A circle of 18.6 miles (30 kilometers) in radius was established around the power plant which is located between the city of Chornobyl to the south and Pripyat which is north of it. A total of about 135,000 people, including 45,000 from the modern city of Pripyat, and from dozens of smalter towns and villages were evacuated from this area soon after the accident. This area of 2,827 square kilometers is guarded by police and military men but a few people, mostly older women, have returned to their old homes to live within the prohibited ZONE. It is uncertain how long the population will be excluded from the ZONE probably centuries. There are also a few thousand workers who are still operating Units 1 and 3 of the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Although these RBMK nuclear reactors designed in Russia are considered unsafe they are still operating because of the great need in Ukraine for electrical power.


THE SARCOPHAGUS is a containment structure built on top of the destroyed nuclear reactor unit 4 at the Chornobyl Power Station. The RBMK reactors built by the USSR are unsafe because they do not have a containment structure which is normal in reactors built by other countries around the world. After the accident it was necessary to build a structure to help contain the radioactive pollution for hundreds of years. It has been said that is should last as long as Egypt's pyramids.

This structure, 248 feet high, was built supported on the remains of the old reactor no. 4 building and was supposed to last at least 30 years. After only ten years it is now cracking and deteriorating because of the poor standards that the Soviet Russian government maintained in its construction. There is a danger that it could collapse and emit a lethal cloud of up to 5O tons of radioactive dust which would circle the world again just like the first Chornobyl catastrophe. It is for this reason that Ukraine has requested international assistance from the G-7 countries to close the Chornobyl plant by the year 2000 and to build a new western designed nuclear power station like the Candu.

Chornobyl Bibliography

There are about 200 books on Chornobyl in many languages of the world plus many more reports. This bibliography lists only a few of the English language monographs and some of the articles and reports which are among the most significant or interesting. - Andrew Gregorovich.


Dobczansky, Jurij. Chernobyl and its Aftermath: A Selected Bibliography. Edmonton: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, Univeristy of Alberta, 1988. 17 p.

Library of Congress Subject Catalog. Washington, D.C. 1986-. See entries under subject heading 'Chernobyl Nuclear Accident, Chernoby;,' Ukraine, 1986."

PAIS International in Print, 1986-96. New York: Public Affairs Information Service, 1986-. See entries under "Atomic Power Plants - Accidents."

Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature. 1986-96. New York: H.W. Wilson, 1987. See entries under "Chernobyl (Ukraine)" and "Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster, 1986."

Subject Guide to Books in Print 1995-96. New Providence, N.J.: R.R. Bowker. See 36 titles listed under "Chernobyl Nuclear Accident, Chernobyl, Ukraine, 1986."

Information is also available about Chornobyl/Chernobyl on Internet.


Cheney, Glenn Alan. Journey to Chernobyl: Encounters in a Radioactive Zone. Chicago: Academy Chicago Publishers, 1995. 191 p. illus. A chatty, popular account of a trip to Ukraine and Chornobyl.

Chemousenko, V.M. Chernobyl: lnsight From the Inside. Berlin-London-New York: Springer-Veriag, 1991. 367 p. illus., maps. Dr. Chemousenko of the Institute for Theoretical Physics of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences is a major authority on the Chornobyl accident. This well illustrated volume is one of the better accounts on all aspects of the disaster but recent research by Dr. Sich shows that some of the statistics may not be reliable.

Gubaryev, Vladimir. Sarcophagus: A Tragedy. New York: Vintage Books, 1987. 106 p. A play by the science editor of Pravda set in a hospital clinic after the Chornobyl disaster.

Haynes, Viktor & Marko Bojoun. The Chernobyl Disaster. London: Hogarth, 1988. 233 p. illus., maps.

The lnternational Chernobyl Project: An Overview Report, by an International Advisory Committee. Vienna: IAEA [International Atomic Energy Assciation], 1991. 57 p. maps.

International Nuclear Safety Advisory Group. Summary Report on the Post-Accident Review Meeting of the Chernobyl Accident. Vienna: IAEA, 1986, 106 p. illus., map.

Marples, David R. Chernobyl & Nuclear Power in the USSR. Edmonton: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta: London: Macmillan Press, 1986. 228 p. Prof. Marples of the University of Alberta is an authority on the Chornobyl accident and this was the first detailed report on the accident and its consequences.

Marples, David R. The Social Impact of the Chernobyl Disaster. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 1988. 313 p. illus., maps. A detailed examination of the aftermath of the world's worst nuclear accident.

Marples, David R. Ukraine Under Perestroika: Ecology, Economics and the Workers' Revolt. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1991. 243 p. illus. Prof. Marples highlights the environmental problems arising from the ecological damage created by Chornobyl. The beginning of the rise of the political movement (which ended in Ukraine's declaration of independence on August 24, 1991 ) is included but the book was published before independence and does not include it.

Medvedev, Grigori. The Truth About Chernobyl. New York: Basic Books, HarperCollins, 1991. 274 p. Medvedev was a deputy chief engineer at Chornobyl in 1970 and tells how and why it became a nightmare for the world.

Medvedev, Zhores. The Legacy of Chernobyl. New York: W W. Norton, 1990, 1992. 352 p. illus. This is a comprehensive analysis of the causes and long-term global effects of the catastrophe by a scientist at the National Institute for medical Research in London.

Nibak, Vasil. Chernobyl: truth and inventions. Kiev: Politvidav Ukraini Publishers, 1987. 46 p. illus.

Mould, Richard F. The History of the World's Worst Civil Nuclear Disaster and its Aftermath. New York: Pergamon, 1988. 256 p. illus. bibliog.

Mould, Richard F. Chernobyl: The Real Story. New York: Pergamon, 1988.

Nuclear Energy Agency. Chernobyl and the Safety of Nuclear Reactors in OECD Countries: Report. Paris: Nuclear Energy Agency, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 1986[?] 96 p. illus.

Pohl, Frederik. Chernobyl: A Novel. Toronto-New York: Bantam Books, 1987. 355 p. This is a "work of fiction based on fact."

Read, Piers Paul. Ablaze: The Story of Chernobyl. London: Secker & Warburg, 1993. 478 p. illus., maps. An English novelist chronicles the disaster and its aftermath from interviews with the main participants.

Savchenko, V.K. The Ecology of the Chernobyl Catastrophe: Scientific Outlines of an International Programme of Collaborative Research. Paris: UNESCO; New York: Parthenon Publishing Group, 1995. 200 p. illus. The author is a geneticist at the Belarus Academy of Sciences and provides a very useful basic survey with emphasis on Belarus.

Schcherbak, Iurii. Chernobyl: A Documentary Story. Edmonton: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta, 1989. 168 p. Yuri Schcherbak is a doctor and writer who headed an Ecological Commission in Ukraine. Soon after the Chernobyl disaster he went to the site to interview eyewitness participants and wrote an award-winning report. Today His Excellency Yuri Schcherbak is the Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States in Washington, D.C.

Yaroshinskaya, Alla. Chernobyl: The Forbidden Truth. Lincoln, Neb.: University of Nebraska Press, 1995. 13S p. Yaroshinska was an investigative journalist in Zhitomir, Ukraine, whose family was affected by Chornobyl's accident. She wrote this frank account after she was elected to parliament in Moscow and became a member of President Yeltsin's Council.

Articles & Reports

Bertell, Rosalie. Chernobyl. Environmental Awareness (International Society of Naturalists), vol. 16, no. 2, 1993, p. 49-55. Dr. Bertill is head of the International Institute of Concern for Public Health in Toronto and an expert since 1963 on radiation illness.

Bohatiuk, Yuri. The Chornobyl Disaster. Ukrainian Quarterly, vol. 42 no. 1-2, Spring-Summer 1986, p. 5-21. One of the first articles in English describes the Soviet attempt to cover it up.

Chernobyl 'By Far' The Worst Nuclear Accident. Montreal: Ukrainian Canadian Committee [1986] 42 leaves illus.

The Chornobyl Commission Report, April 1987. Toronto: Chornobyl Comissions of the World Congress of Free Ukrainians and the Ukrainian Canadian Committee, 1987. 36 p. illus. Contributors: J.A. Dankowych, 0. Danylak, B. Jaciw, B. Lychacz, D.R. Marples, O.A. Trojan.

Chornobyl Committee, London. Chornobyl Report. Ukrainian Review, Summer 1991, p. 3-22. A good, concise account.

Cichowlas, W.M. Chernobyl: An Overview of the Accident - 10 Years Later. Manuscript. 2p. Cichowlas is an engineer at the Pickering Nuclear Power Plant and was a member of the Canadian review team for Chornobyl in 1986-87.

Cobb, Charles E., Jr., Living With Radiation. National Geographic April 1989, p. 403-437, col. illus. Includes Chornobyl: p. 416-17, 423, 426-8.

Edwards, Mike. Chernobyl - One Year After. Photos by Steve Raymer. National Geographic vol. 171, no. 5, May 1987, p. 632-653, col. illus. A very well illustrated article on Chornobyl summarizing the event and the first year after the accident.

Edwards, Mike. Living With the Monster: Chornobyl. Photos by Gerd Ludwig. National Geographic, August 1994, p. 100-115. Assistant Editor Mike Edwards provides an interesting update to his early article on Chornobyl.

Elliott, Lawrence. Deadly Wings: One Year After Chernobyl. Reader's Digest, May 1987, P. 129-33.

Encyclopaedia Britannica Micropedia, The New. Chernobyl Accident, vol. 3 p. 171.

Encyclopaedia Britannica 1987 Book of the Year. Chernobyl: p. 204-05, map.

Gorbachev, Mikhail. The Chernobyl Accident. Vital Speeches of the Day, June 15, 1986. p. 514-17. [Television address on May 14.]

Greenwald, John. Deadly Meltdown. Time, May 12, 1986 p.38-, illus.

Gregorovich, Andrew. Chornobyl: History's Worst Nuclear Disaster, A Tragedy for Ukraine and the World. Forum: Ukrainian Review (440 Wyoming Ave., Scranton, PA 18503) No. 67, Fall 1986. p. 6-8 illus., maps.

Gwynne, Peter. The Chernobyl Accident. Collier's Encyclopedia 1987 Year Book Covering the Year 1986. p. S24-527, illus., map.

Hodiak, Bohdan. Chornobyl: Five Years After. The Legacy of the world's worst nuclear catastrophe. Ukrainian Weekly (Jersey City, N.J.), April 28, 1991. p, 8-9, illus. Reprinted from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Hohenemser, C. & 0. Renn. Chernobyl's Other Legacy. Environment 30, 1988, p. 5-11.

Huda, Walter. Medical Consequences of Chernobyl. Journal of Ukrainian Studies, vol. 11 no. 1, Summer 1986, p. 35,52. bibliog.

Hunt, Liz. Chernobyl Link to Cancer Cluster on Scottish Island. Independent on Sunday (London, Eng.) 31 March 1996, p. 1, 5 illus.

Ilyushin, Dmitro. The Zone. Photos by Igor Kostin and Yuri Buslenko. Ukraine (Kiev), no. 11, 1989 p. 18-19, illus.

Marples, David. Chernobyl: A Six Month Review. Journal of Ukrainian Studies, vol. 11 no. 1 Summer 1986, p 3-19.

Marples, David. Chernobyl and Ukraine. Problems of Communism, vol. 35 no. 6, Nov.-Dec. 1986, p. 17-27.

New York Times, April 26, 1996. Chernobyl Reconsidered.

Oleksyn, Ivan. A Visit to Chornobyl. Forum (Scranton, Pa.) no. 83, Summer 1991, p. 3-6, illus.

Palij, Michael & William C. Fletcher. Chornobyl: An Etymology. Ukrainian Quarterly, vol. 42 Spring-Summer 1986, p. 22-24.

Ramberg, B. Learning from Chernobyl. Foreign Affairs, vol. 65 no. 2, 1986, p. 304-328.

Rubin, D. How the News Media Reported on Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, Journal of Communication, 1987 p. 42-47.

Segerstahl, Boris, ed. Chernobyl: A Policy Response Study. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 1991. 180 p. A study by 8 scientists of Europe's response to Chornobyl and its effect on Agriculture, Trade, Internation Response, Perceptiom, Crisis Management and the Credibility Crisis.

Shcherbak, Yuri M. Ten Years of the Chornobyl Era: The environmental and health effects of nuclear power's greatest calamity will last for generations. Scientific American, April 1996, p. 44-49, illus. An excellent article by the Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S.A.

Solchanyk, Roman. Chernobyl: The Political Fallout in Ukraine. Journal of Ukrainian Studies, vol. 11 no. 1, Summer 1986, p. 20-34.

Soviet Nationality Survey, vol. 3 no. 4/5, April-May 1986. Special issue on Chernobyl p. 1-16.

Toronto Star Focus, Thursday, April 21, 1994. p. H1-H16, illus. map. Features "Children of Chornobyl Eight Years Later," "Puzzling questions in Chornobyl's wake" and other articles on Chornobyl.

Trafford, Abigail & Stanley Wellborn. Stark Fallout from Chernobyl, U.S. News and World Report, May 12, 1986, p. 18-25.

Ukrainian Woman in the World 1995 no. 22. Official Publication of World Federation of Ukrainian Women's Organizations (278 Bathurst St., Toronto, Ont. M5T 2S3, Tel: (416) 366-4299. Fax: 366-3189. Includes: "The Health of Women and Children After Chornobyl," by Prof. Zoreslawa Nizhnik (Kiev.Kyiv (044) 213-6271); "Environmental Catastrophe, Its Effects on the Environment and Nuclear Waste," by lryna Kurowycka, and "Summary of Community Assistance in the Aftermath of the Chornobyl Disaster," by Anna Krawchuk.

Ward, Olivia. The Chernobyl Syndrome. Disaster's legacy: Agony and secrecy. Toronto Star, Saturday, April 13, 1996. p. B1-B.

York, Geoffrey. Chernobyl Disaster Claims 2nd Generation. Globe and Mail (Toronto) April 8,1996. p. A1, A8.

York, Geoffrey. Chernobyl Staff Singing Death Planes Praises. Globe & Mail, April 4, 1996 p. A20, illus., map.

Zelenko, Constantine. The Chornobyl Nuclear Disaster (An East European View). London, Eng.: European Liaison Group, 1986. 20 p. Includes a section "The Ukrainian Aspect of Chornobyl."


Cleanup workers (Liquidators) going to the Chornobyl Plant.
Photo by Lu Taskey.

THE LIQUIDATORS are those people who were recruited or forced to assist in the cleanup or the "liquidation" of the consequences of the accident. As a totalitarian government the Soviet Union forced many young soldiers to assist in the cleanup of the Chornobyl accident, apparently without sufficient protective clothing and insufficient explanation of the danger involved. Over 650,000 liquidators helped in the cleanup of the Chornobyl disaster in the first year. Many of those who worked as LIQUIDATORS became ill and according to some estimates about 8,000 to 10,000 have died from the radioactive dose they received at the Chornobyl Power Plant. This group apparently includes those who built the containment building over the destroyed reactor No. 4 which is called the SARCOPHAGUS.

The Ukrainian Weekly

Excellent material on Chornobyl may be found in
The Ukrainian Weekly (April 21 and 28, 1996).

Ukrainian Weekly
P.O. Box 346, Jersey City, NJ 07303 U.S.A.
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Copyright © 1996 Andrew Gregorovich

Reprinted from FORUM Ukrainian Review No. 94, Spring 1996

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