On April 26, 1986, a catastrophic nuclear accident occurred at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, which was then part of the Soviet Union. The disaster, which is considered the worst nuclear power plant accident in history, was caused by a faulty reactor design and operator error during a routine safety test.
As a result of the accident, a massive explosion and fire released large quantities of radioactive particles into the atmosphere, which dispersed over much of Europe. The resulting radiation fallout led to the evacuation of over 336,000 people from the surrounding areas and caused numerous deaths and cases of radiation sickness.
The cleanup and recovery efforts, which involved thousands of workers, took many years and resulted in the construction of a massive concrete sarcophagus to contain the remains of the destroyed reactor. The Chernobyl disaster had a significant impact on the environment and the health of those exposed to the radiation, and it remains a cautionary tale of the potential dangers of nuclear power.