UKRAINE COMMEMORATES CHERNOBYL ANNIVERSARY
- Ukraine is commemorating the 26th anniversary of the Chornobyl nuclear disaster, which was initially hushed up by Soviet authorities even as it sent radiation spewing over wide swaths of Europe, the Ukrainian service of RFE/RL reports.
An accident at one of the reactors at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant on April 26, 1986 caused radiation to spread across parts of Ukraine, Belarus, and elsewhere in Europe in what become known as the worst civilian nuclear disaster ever.
Dozens of people died in the cleanup following the catastrophe, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), but the final health fallout is unknown.
Residents of Slavutych gathered on the town's main square on the eve of the anniversary to remember the victims.
Many of the plant's workers were relocated to Slavutych, some 50 kilometers from Chornobyl, after the disaster.
Much of the area around the plant, polluted by radiation, was abandoned after the accident.
The damaged reactor - Number 4 - was entombed in a concrete "sarcophagus." However, cracks were discovered in its construction in later years.
Now work is under way to build a 105-by-150 meter structure weighing 29,000 tons to replace the compromised sarcophagus.
According to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which is helping to finance the project, it should be completed by mid-2014.
- 1879 Death of Stepanos Nazaryan (public figure) in Moscow (Russia). He published the "Hyusisapail" (Aurora Borealis) monthly.
- 1904 The great battle of Semal (the Sassoon rebellion) took place under the leadership of General Andraneek. Hrair (Armenak Ghazarian) was killed in the fighting. He was born in 1864.
- 1920 Death of Vrtanes Papazyan (writer) in Yerevan. He was born in 1866.
- 1921 The "Self-government of Syunik" is re-organized by the Dashnaks, as the "Government of Mountainous Armenia".
- 1953 Completion of the first stage of construction of the Gyumush hydroelectric power station.