Avatar photo

By Citizen Reporter


What to know about International Chernobyl Remembrance Day

The remembrance day raises awareness about the risks of nuclear energy.

International Chernobyl Remembrance Day is commemorated every year on 26 April to bring awareness of the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine.

This occasion was established by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on 8 December 2016, in memory of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

The remembrance day also raises awareness about the risks of nuclear energy.

International Chernobyl Remembrance

Radioactive disaster

This video is no longer available.

According to the UN, the explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 1986 spread a radioactive cloud over large parts of the Soviet Union, now the territories of Belarus, Ukraine and the Russian Federation.

Nearly 8.4 million people in the three countries were exposed to the radiation.

ALSO READ: Calls for government to declare Tuberculosis a national health emergency

Chernobyl is considered the worst nuclear disaster in history, both in cost and casualties.

Chernobyl explosion fallout

According to Britannica, the disaster caused serious radiation sickness and contamination. Between 50 and 185 million curies of radionuclides escaped into the atmosphere.

Millions of acres of forest and farmland were contaminated, livestock was born deformed, and people suffered long-term negative health effects.

Follow our live blog for the latest Russia-Ukraine developments

A total of 31 people died due to the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, however, in 2005, the UN said that about 4,000 more people could eventually die due to radiation exposure to radiation from the power plant.


The Chernobyl disaster occurred during a safety test on the steam turbine of an RBMK-type nuclear reactor.

During a planned decrease of reactor power in preparation for the test, the power output unexpectedly dropped to near-zero.

The operators were unable to restore the power level specified by the test programme, which put the Chernobyl power plant reactor in an unstable condition.

“This risk was not made evident in the operating instructions, so the operators proceeded with the test. Upon test completion, the operators triggered a reactor shutdown.

“However, a combination of operator negligence and critical design flaws had made the reactor primed to explode. Instead of shutting down, an uncontrolled nuclear chain reaction began, releasing enormous amounts of energy,” the UN explained.

ALSO READ: World Malaria Day 2022: Reduce the impact and save lives

Read more on these topics

Ukraine United Nations (UN)

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits