April 26 – International Day of Remembrance for Victims of Radiation Accidents and Disasters


This day in 1986, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant (CNPP) the largest man-made disaster of the XX century in the scope of the damage and consequences occurred.

The explosion on the 4th power plant of the Chernobyl NPP happened in the course of the conducting project testing of one of the security management systems.

The active zone and the upper part of the plant building, as a result, was totally destroyed, and other constructions were seriously damaged. Barriers and security system, protecting the environment from radionuclide gained in irradiated fuel, were destroyed.

The emission of fission products of nuclear fuel from the damaged plant at the level of millions of curies per day lasted for 10 days from 26 April  to 6 May 1986, after that, it plummeted (in thousand times) and thereafter continued to decline.

As a result, the territories of 17 European countries with the total area of 207,5 thousands of square kilometers came under radioactive contamination, from which about 60 thousands of square kilometers of territories are abroad the former USSR.

The accident at the CNPP anyway affected the lives of million people. Most people of northern hemisphere came under the impact of radiation in varying degrees as a result of the Chernobyl accident. People living outside of the territory of the former Soviet Union received relatively small doses, but completely unevenly on countries, mainly, it depended on whether it rained while passing the radioactive trail.

After the accident, 600 thousand citizens of the USSR (according to some estimates until 800 thousand people, including a large number of the military) were involved in works on the elimination of its consequences. They participated directly in the creation “Shelter” under the destroyed fourth block, decontamination of the CNPP platform and other blocks, works in the Chernobyl exclusion zone and the temporary resettlement, building the city of Slavutich and so forth.

Paying tribute to the memory of the dead, the Heads of the state-members of the Commonwealth of Independent States at the summit in June 2001 made a decision to appeal to the state-members of the United Nations Organization (UN) to declare the International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Radiation Accidents and Disasters on 26 April.