CHERNOBYL: THE STORY OF AN ABANDONED CITY
The development of a country is closely related to its technology. Technology brings tremendous change all over the world but we have to keep in mind that technological advancement has affected human life both positively as well as negatively. It not only leads to progress but often to the downfall of a country. The nuclear explosion that happened in Chernobyl is the best example. The year 1986 witnessed many global events, The Halley’s Comet reached the closest point to the earth, Soviet Union launched the Mir space station into earth’s orbit, space shuttle Challenger exploded on takeoff, Soviet authorities ordered the evacuation of the city of Pripyat with a population of 50000 within one day due to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and so on. All these events show the pros and cons of technology. A place called Chernobyl in Ukraine became the victim of newly developed technology. Chernobyl was a beautiful city of Pripyat in the north of the Ukrainian SSR in the Soviet Union. A nuclear accident occurred in the nuclear power plant of Chernobyl on 26th April 1986 which changed the fate of the city. The established city became ghost land within a short period.
Chernobyl and Pripyat were the two developed cities. Chernobyl nuclear power station was situated between these two cities. Pripyat was a well-planned city especially developed for the workers of the nuclear plants. The city was built with all modern facilities such as schools, colleges, hospitals, cultural centers, theatres, residential apartments, etc. It was a place where rich people, professionals, businessmen, etc preferred to live. In terms of development, Pripyat was 30 years ahead. Everything vanished within a short span of time. The people were forced to leave their dreams, happiness, wealth everything in Pripyat and they were evacuated from the place. Can we imagine this happening to a city like Bombay or Delhi? This situation happened in Pripyat and Chernobyl.
The nuclear power plant exploded in Chernobyl at 1:23 am. Reactor no: 4 in the nuclear plant exploded. It was one of the worst nuclear accidents that have ever happened. As per the official report, 2 workers died on the spot and around 28 were injured but unofficially reports say that around 4000 people died and nearly 50000 people were evacuated from the place within a day. The reason behind the explosion was the operators’ error. Reports say that the plant was operated by ill-trained workers. The effect of radiation was detected in India as well. The radioactive gas clouds traveled across Europe and fell to the ground in the form of nuclear rain. The accident caused the uncontrolled release of radioactive substances into the environment. This led to serious health issues to the people. They had no choice but to leave the city as early as possible. The radioactive elements contaminated air land and water making the place uninhabitable.
Today 30 kilometer’s around the Chernobyl power plant is considered an exclusive zone. Pripyat is now considered a ghost town because the place is not suitable for living due to the presence of radioactive substances . Studies reveal that mutations occur in insects and aquatic animals due to radiation. Morphological changes have been noticed in the animals. An area about four square miles from the nuclear plant came to be known as a red forest because the trees changed into reddish-brown color due to the absorption of contaminated water and air. Many people suffer from thyroid cancer even now. Within a span of 35 years, around 6000 people died because of the long-term effect of the radiation. Now the place is a tourist spot with a lot of restrictions. Tourists are strictly prohibited to touch any place or things due to the high presence of radiation.
The Chernobyl disaster was a tragic event. This incident became an important factor in the fall of the Soviet Union. The Chernobyl disaster shows the hazardous effect of nuclear energy. With the increase in population, the demand for energy sources is also rising. Nonrenewable energy sources should be utilized so as to conserve the resources.
The results of such technical errors might be fatal for future generations. Chernobyl disaster is a warning to mankind to use the technology with safety standards and regulations.