After Chernobyl’s nuclear catastrophe in 1986, this part of the Ukrainian territory has remained a high danger zone thanks to the very unsafe radiation levels that are still present beyond the nuclear reactor.
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Because of this, the city’s population has been reduced to the ones who are intended to check on the exclusion zone or families who voluntarily came back to their native “home”. But now, Russian armed forces have taken the place as a strategic military position and that has generated many more concerns not only about the war conflict, but also the potential nuclear dangers that this may bring up.
Why is Chernobyl so important for Russia?
The famous nuclear desert is located just 10 miles away from the Belarusian border and 80 miles north of Ukraine’s capital Kyiv.
Its geographical location makes it the perfect route to follow for the Russian army since Belarus is a Moscow ally and it is relatively the “easiest, safest and shortest” path for them to try and take control of the capital; something that would signify a great advantage for them in this conflict.
Based on the way Russian troops have spread in Ukraine and around Kyiv, it could be inferred that one of the main objectives of its army is to surround its capital from all possible angles to guarantee, in this way, an almost sure victory over the invaded country.
What is the nuclear danger about?
After the explosion that turned the place into a radioactive zone happened, the international community has cooperated to repair all the damage caused by this incident in order to contain as much nuclear contamination as possible inside the huge dome that is promised to last about a century. But even though the most dangerous waste was left inside this construction, there is still the risk that a fatal accident could release part of this energy due to the gunfights that have occurred these days.
It has been said that with all the activity and movement of military equipment, a lot of radioactive dust has raised and spread through the air, making the radiation levels rise and governmental leaders worry about the consequences of a significant change in these numbers.
So far, the current radiation levels have been reported to be within the human-safe limits and therefore the army has no intention of getting out of that zone at all. But the major risk relies on the possibility of something significantly damaging the dome and releasing all the radiation contained inside, ruining all the progress that has been made in more than 20 years of trying to repair our biggest nuclear catastrophe.
What consequences could it bring in the future?
In case that this huge dome ends up being perforated in any type of way and the nuclear waste gets exposed to natural conditions, it would be as if all countries nearby went back in time to before the new steel sarcophagus was constructed. If this happens, a lot of nuclear dust would propagate significantly reaching countries like Belarus, Poland, Rusia, Ukraine and basically most part of Europe, polluting this country’s environment just like it happened years ago.