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Chernobyl: Frozen in Time

Ukraine

by Gabriel Romero

Published December 2023

On  April 26, 1986, the world’s worst nuclear disaster occurred in reactor No. 4 of the  Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Northern Ukraine, then known as the  Ukrainian SSR of the Soviet Union. The fallout from the explosion and  subsequent meltdown released radioactive  contamination across Ukraine, neighboring Belarus, Russia and Northern  and Eastern Europe. However, there was measurable contamination detected  worldwide. Officially, 31 people are known to have died directly from  the disaster, unofficially the long-term effects  of radiation poisoning have led to the deaths of thousands. The nearby  city of Pripyat, with a population of approximately 50,000 inhabitants  was evacuated in the days and weeks to come. Pripyat was a city that  housed the families of the workers of the nuclear  power plant. It was a functioning city like any other. There were  homes, shops, schools and even an amusement park that was scheduled to open on May 1, 1986. Five days before the park was set to open, the disaster occurred and the park was never used. The  legacy of Chernobyl is a lesson to the world on the responsible use of nuclear power.


Gabriel Romero

Gabriel Romero is a Photojournalist based in Los Angeles, California. He specializes in national and international news in the areas of conflict, political, and humanitarian coverage. His work has been awarded and exhibited across the world. Most recently, he has focused on Ukraine, as well as the Middle East and Latin America.

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