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Extra resources for All About History: The World’s Worst Disasters
8 miles (three km) away from the nuclear power plant and had a population just under 50,000 at the time of the Chernobyl disaster. It was a growing town with 15 primary schools, five secondary schools, a hospital and sports and recreational facilities, including an Olympic-sized swimming pool. After the accident, residents were evacuated but told they could return in three days time, meaning that many possessions are still in the city to this day. Some residents have returned to the area, but none have been allowed back into the town, as it is still quarantined due to high levels of radiation.
This secrecy ran not just to the knowledge held This hotel in Pripyat has not seen guests since the accident in 1986 The abandoned town of Pripyat is seeing nature retake some areas 33 Chernobyl by other countries, but also to their own people. Aleksandr Akimov’s superior at Chernobyl was Anatoly Dyatlov, deputy chief engineer. When the Soviet Union’s authorities later tried Dyatlov, desperately looking for scapegoats, he stated that he did not know of the previous accidents that had occurred at reactors of the same type, even though several had.
It may have looked industrial and ugly, but it was good for the region’s economy and served as a symbol that the Soviets were as technologically advanced as any of the decadent countries in the west. One of the men who earned their living from the plant was Aleksandr Akimov, a night shift supervisor. On 26 April 1986, he was in charge of a seemingly routine safety test on reactor four. In less than two weeks time he would be dead from severe radiation poisoning from the worst nuclear accident of the 20th century.