April 4, 1996 - April 27, 1996
Ten years ago, the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant released radiation into the atmosphere in amounts estimated by the World Health Organization to be 200 times greater than the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs combined. Shortly after the accident, a ten kilometer zone was established around the damaged reactor. When it became clear how widespread the contamination was, the zone was extended to thirty kilometers. More than 135,000 people had to be evacuated, and, in an area of rich farmland, millions of acres were left to lie fallow. The evacuation zone is still closely guarded, and although some former residents have returned to their villages, much of the zone is still uninhabitable.