International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day

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2024 Date26 April 2024
2025 Date26 April 2025

International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day

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International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day

International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day pays tribute to the victims of the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster – the worst nuclear power plant accident in history. This remembrance day underscores the long-term consequences of nuclear disasters and puts a human face to such calamities. It also underscores the enduring significance of incessant vigilance, preparedness, and multilateral collaboration in nuclear safety to prevent such disasters in the future.

The day is in remembrance of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster which took place in Ukraine on 26th April 1986 when a reactor in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant exploded leading to the release of substantial amounts of radioactive particles. The significance of this day for Indians lies in the acknowledgement that nuclear disasters know no boundaries and the Chernobyl tragedy could have easily engulfed other parts of the world including India. The widespread environmental and health impacts of Chernobyl shed light on the potential risks associated with India's expanding nuclear power program. It stands as a stark reminder for India to ensure rigorous safety measures, regular oversight, community awareness, and emergency readiness in all its nuclear power facilities.

In India, International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day is observed by various environmental and health organizations through webinars, digital campaigns and seminars highlighting the lessons that can be drawn from the Chernobyl tragedy. Government agencies involved in India's nuclear energy sector also engage in risk-assessment studies and organize workshops on nuclear safety protocols around this observance. International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day is observed on 26th April, marking the anniversary of the catastrophic incident.

Facts about the Chernobyl disaster

  • About 30,000 people were near Chernobyl's reactor when it exploded on April 26, 1986. Those exposed to the radiation are thought to have received about 45 rem which is a unit of radiation dosage. This amount increased the risk of cancer by almost 2 percent.
  • According to the Global Resilience Institute at Northern University, in 2022, about 100 people still live in Chernobyl’s exclusion zone. Nobody is allowed to move here due to the dangerous levels of radiation present.
  • In 1989, soon after the Chernobyl incident, India witnessed strong protests against the Kaiga Nuclear Power Plant project, primarily due to safety concerns triggered by the Chernobyl incident.
  • In the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster, Indian nuclear power authorities initiated an in-depth review of safety measures at all of India's nuclear facilities. They also decided to revamp their disaster management policies and strategies.

Top things to do in India for this observance

  • Explore a gallery of photos featuring Chernobyl both during the accident and years later.
  • Watch a documentary to learn more about the Chernobyl Disaster:
    1) The Battle of Chernobyl - (2006): A detailed documentary that explores the disaster.
  • Visit the Bhabha Atomic Research Center: Though it isn't directly related to the Chernobyl disaster, you could visit the Bhabha Atomic Research Center in Mumbai to learn more about nuclear energy.

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