As Japan continues to deal with its nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power facility, memorials are being held in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia today to mark the 25th anniversary of the nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl. On April 26, 1986, an explosion at the power plant sent a cloud of radioactive fallout into Russia, Belarus and over a large portion of Europe. Soviet officials attempted to cover up the accident, but eventually 50,000 people living in Chernobyl’s immediate surroundings had to be evacuated. A vast rural region near the plant remains uninhabitable. Until the crisis in Japan, Chernobyl was the world’s only Level 7 "major accident" nuclear disaster, the most severe designation issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency. [includes rush transcript]moreless
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