The Chernobyl disaster was a catastrophic nuclear accident that occurred on 26 April 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine (Ukrainian SSR), which was under the jurisdiction of Moscow. An explosion and fire released large quantities of radioactive contamination into the atmosphere, which spread over Western USSR and Europe. It is considered the worst nuclear power accident in history, and is one of only two classified as a level 7 event on the International Nuclear Event Scale.
Chernobyl Then and Now. A combination of images, taken in 1982 and on March 31, 2011, shows before and after view of the abandoned city of Prypiat near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. REUTERS/Vladimir Repik and Gleb Garanich