April 26th is the 25th anniversary of the disaster at Chernobyl. Estimates of the number who died as a result of the accident vary wildly, from less than a hundred to two hundred thousand. In 2009, the last year for which we have figures, 369 farmers in the UK still had to have their livestock scanned before they could move them, because of the continuing after effects. Officials from the European Commission’s Nuclear Safety Unit say that at least £1.5 billion, double the original estimate, is needed to build a new roof for the damaged reactor. They have asked Britain to contribute £43 million, in addition to the £53.1 million already given.
In an essay published by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the former Soviet president, Mikhail Gorbachev, said, “The upcoming 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster is a brutal reminder of the dangers of nuclear power, proliferation and terrorism. The true scope of the tragedy still remains beyond comprehension and is a shocking reminder of the reality of the nuclear threat“. Nuclear Power Daily 1.3