TIMELINE

 

1970 /// Construction of the first nuclear power plant starts in Chernobyl. The site is located 11 kilometers from the central Chernobyl.

4.2.1970 /// The town of Pripyat is founded. The building of the town is started, the town is meant for the employees of the new nuclear power plant. The town will be built just 3 kilometers from the power plant.

1977 /// The first reactor is finished. The town is populated.

1983 /// Reactor number four is opened. Work is started for reactors five and six. These would be finished by 1988.

26.4.1986 ///

[1:23:00] Reactor number four, a new cooling system tests begin.

[1:23:44] Unexpected stress causes reactor four to explode. Two employees die immediately. 28 firemen start fighting the flames with just water.

26.04-04.05.1986 /// Radioactive dust flies all over the world. First it flies to north, to Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and to Scandinavia. A radioactive cloud spreads and e.g. the Finns get their share with rains during the next few days.

27.04.-5.5.1986 /// Helicopters start to fight the fires. 1800 flights with sand over the burning reactor. First evacuations from Pripyat. No evacuations from the nearby villages.

28.04.1986 /// First reports of radiation from Sweden. The Swedes suspect a radiation leakage from the nuclear power plant of Forsmark. Once this is cleared, all eyes turn to Soviet Union.

The Soviet news agency TASS tells that there's been an accident in Chernobyl, with some casualties. An investigative committee is established in radioactive Pripyat and nuclear physicists and scientists investigate the disaster and its aftermath.

Summer 1986 /// Hundreds of thousands of liquidators (the people volunteered to do the clean-up work) participate to the clean-up work. Army recruits are gathered to do their two year service in two minutes up the reactor cover, to dismantle and to destroy the worst contaminated buildings and to wash the asphalt.

15.11.1986 /// A protective sarcophagus is finished over the reactor.

October 1991 /// Reactor number two bursts into flames and is shut down completely forever.

1996 /// Thyroid cancer risk is discovered to be increasing in the former Soviet countries. WHO calculates that about 4 million people in these countries will be affected by the aftermath of the disaster.

12.12.2000 /// The last of the four finished reactors is shut down.