26 April 2010, Monday, 14:21

Today is the International Day of the memory of victims of radiation accidents and catastrophes

author: Eugene Rakhimkulov

The International Day of the memory of victims of radiation accidents and catastrophes is marked in the majority of the countries today. The memorable date – the 26th of April – is chosen not accidentally. The largest man-caused catastrophe in the history of the mankind – the accident at Chernobyl – has occurred on this very day in 1986.

The explosion of the fourth nuclear station’s energy unit has exceeded the explosion of the Hiroshima bomb 500 times. As a result of the catastrophe the surrounding territories within the radius of 30 kilometers have been polluted. The total area of the radiation pollution in Ukraine made up more than 50 thousand kilometers in 12 its regions. Besides, 19 Russian regions with the territory of almost 60 thousand kilometers and with the population 2,6 million people and about 46 thousand square meters on the territory of Byelorussia, where about 20% of the country’s population lived that moment, were subjected to the radiation contamination.

For the period from April 1986 to November 1990 more than 210 military units with the total strength 340 thousand people have been attracted to participation in the liquidation of the Chernobyl accident’s after-effects.

At the CIS summit in September 2003 it was decided to declare the 26th of April the International Day of the memory of victims of radiation accidents and catastrophes. It was proposed by the President of Ukraine Vladimir Kuchma. In December 2003 the delegates of the UNO 58th session have approved the resolution, underlining the long-term character of liquidation of the catastrophe at the Chernobyl nuclear power station. The resolution provides for strengthening of international cooperation and coordination of the efforts of the world community on softening of the Chernobyl crash’s after-effects.