Chernobyl: New Evidence: when was Nuclear Power Plant Disaster, what happened, when is documentary on TV?

Iconic abanonded Elektrenia City Park in Chernobyl (Adobe)Iconic abanonded Elektrenia City Park in Chernobyl (Adobe)
Iconic abanonded Elektrenia City Park in Chernobyl (Adobe) | mantvydasd - stock.adobe.com

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 A new documentary revealing new evidence of the Chernobyl disaster is coming to Channel 4

Channel 4 is set to air a new documentary about what happened during the Chernobyl Disaster of 1986.

Formerly secret KGB files have revealed the “astonishing truth” behind the explosion of the nuclear reactor in Ukraine.

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Chernobyl: The New Evidence will explore how far Soviet leaders would go to cover up what had happened during the toxic fallout.

The two-part series will explore how children were exposed to the radioactive fallout during the Kyiv May Day Parade as Soviet leaders tried to prove to the world that everything was fine.

The documentary will feature leading experts, and first-hand accounts from witnesses such as Oleksiy Anneko, who braved radioactive waters to prevent a deadlier second explosion.

How can I watch Chernobyl: The New Evidence?

The two-part documentary series will be broadcast on Channel 4 and will be available to watch later on All 4 online.

The first episode airs on Saturday 26 March 2022 at 7:30pm.

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The second part of the documentary series will be broadcast the following Saturday (2 April 2022) at 8pm.

What happened at Chernobyl?

The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (Adobe)The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (Adobe)
The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (Adobe) | NickMo - stock.adobe.com

The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant is near the city of Pripyat in the north of Ukraine.

On the night of 25 April 1986 into the following morning, a series of mistakes resulted in the explosion at the Chernobyl plant.

Workers had shut down the reactor 4’s regulating and emergency safety systems and also withdrew most of the control rods from the core.

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This allowed the reactor to continue to run at 7 percent power.

The combination of these mistakes, alongside others, saw a chain reaction in the core that went out of control.

On April 26 of the same year at 1:23am, several explosions triggered a large fireball, as well as blowing off the heavy steel and concrete lid on the reactor.

These explosions alongside the continuing fire in the graphite reactor core released large amounts of radioactive material into the atmosphere.

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The radioactive material was then carried by air currents over great distances across Ukraine and neighbouring countries.

It’s been reported that the radioactive material reached as far as Sweden, which is around 683 miles away.

The following day on 27 April, the over 30,00 inhabitants of Pripyat began to be evacuated from the city.

What was the aftermath of the Chernobyl Disaster?

Dilapidated and abandoned supermarket in Chernobyl (Adobe)Dilapidated and abandoned supermarket in Chernobyl (Adobe)
Dilapidated and abandoned supermarket in Chernobyl (Adobe) | Michael - stock.adobe.com

The Soviet leaders began an attempt to cover-up the nuclear disaster but on 28 April Swedish monitoring stations began reporting abnormally high levels of radioactive materials being wind-transported into the country.

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Sweden then pressed for an explanation that saw the Soviet government admitting to the accident at Chernobyl.

This was followed by an international outcry from world leaders over the radioactive emissions and the dangers that they posed.

On 1 May 1986, just days after the nuclear disaster, the Soviet Union celebrated the May Day Parade.

The Soviet leaders chose to publically ignore the disaster that had just happened in Ukraine and the subsequent radiation that had spread over large areas of the country.

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Writing about his experiences in Time, Lev Golkin said he remembers his grandma shouting “Sveta – get him indoors!” from her apartment window, when she saw his mother returning home with him.

The May Day Parade in Kyiv was just 80 miles from the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

The Ukrainian capital still staged a colourful ceremony with no mention of the nuclear accident.

By 4 May the heat and radioactivity that were leaking from the reactor were contained by workers on the site, despite being a great risk to their health.

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Radioactive debris was buried at 800 sites and during the later part of 1986, the highly radioactive core was enclosed in a steel and concrete sarcophagus.

Around 600,000 workers were involved in building the sarcophagus that was later deemed structurally unsound.

How many people died in the Chernobyl Disaster?

A liquidator of Chernobyl nuclear power plant kneels to pay his respects at Chernobyl’s memorial (Photo by SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images)A liquidator of Chernobyl nuclear power plant kneels to pay his respects at Chernobyl’s memorial (Photo by SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images)
A liquidator of Chernobyl nuclear power plant kneels to pay his respects at Chernobyl’s memorial (Photo by SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

Although it’s hard to tell the true death toll of the nuclear disaster, the official death toll attributed is 31, although the United Nations believes this is higher at around 50.

However, hundreds of thousands of workers were sent to the site after the explosion as “liquidators”.

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These liquidators were sent to put out the fire and to clean up the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant site.

The death and disability rates of these liquidators have soared over the years, but health studies by the International Atomic Energy Agency have said that the liquidators“have failed to show any direct correlation between their radiation exposure and an increase in other forms of cancer or disease.”

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