Chernobyl is a city in the Ukraine located
about 56 miles (90 kilometers) northeast of the capital, Kiev. Prior to the disaster and a subsequent evacuation,
it was home to around 14,000 people. At that time, it was still part of the Soviet
Union. The city was the location of the first ever
nuclear power station to be built in Ukraine, but on the 26th of April, 1986, disaster struck
when Reactor No. 4 exploded. The town is still home to around 690 people,
although it’s now somewhat of a ghost town, with animals occupying many abandoned buildings. Most of the residents live about 19 miles
(30km) from the disaster site in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, and surprisingly, international
tourists flock to the area. But what exactly happened in Chernobyl? That’s what we’ll find out today, in this
episode of the Infographics Show, What Caused the Catastrophic Nuclear Accident in Chernobyl? As CNN reported in 2016, if you visit Chernobyl
now as a tourist, you’ll be taken on a strict guided tour of what was once a busy, if not
small, city. Photographs show a place that has been frozen
and overgrown, a kind of spooky remnant of a town where people once lived and worked,
and where kids played on the now unused ferris wheel. The explosion at the nuclear plant is rated
as the worst nuclear disaster in the history of the world. Radioactive dust was sent far and wide, transported
by winds as far as Sweden. The number of deaths directly related to the
initial explosion is thought to be about 31, although the WHO reports that a further 50
deaths happened later as a result of massive exposure of radiation on the day. These deaths were mostly workers and rescue
workers. Two people died as a result of injuries suffered
because of the blast of the explosion. The WHO further states that around 4,000 deaths
in total can be attributed to radiation exposure because of the event. On the day of the disaster, thousands of people
were exposed to high levels of radiation, with the WHO saying these people are at high
risk of having cancer in their lifetime. Even the millions of people that lived miles
away from the site in other parts of the then Soviet Union, were exposed to low levels of
radionuclides ( or atoms that contain excess nuclear energy) and they too are more at risk,
regarding cancer. On top of that, many of those displaced suffered
financially and psychologically, especially because some were never given sufficient information
regarding the danger they had been exposed to. According to recent reports, areas at least
19 miles (30 km) away from the accident site, are mostly radiation free, although some lakes
and forestland are no-go areas or are at least restricted to the public. “In most areas the problems are economic
and psychological, not health or environmental,” said Dr. Mikhail Balonov, a radiation expert
and the scientific secretary of the Chernobyl Forum. So yes, this is now a tourist spot for those
who want to see what a ghost town looks like. We looked at blogs written by travelers who
have visited the exclusion zone. One of them wrote that when she was invited,
she thought it was a joke, thinking like many people that visiting such a place was too
dangerous. She wrote that in the absence of people, the
area has once again become home to wandering bears, wild horse, deer, foxes, wolves…and
dogs, lots of stray dogs. While you are told not to touch things, or
eat or drink while on the tour, the radiation levels are checked by your guide throughout
the visit. “I felt like I was walking through a horror
themed park,” she said of an abandoned kindergarten, saying dolls were still hanging around. Anyway, you get the picture, let’s now talk
about what happened on that fateful day. Ok, so according to the World Nuclear Association,
this is how it went down. We will try and explain it as clearly as we
can, because it’s not all that simple if you don’t work as a nuclear power engineer. The workers at Chernobyl reactor 4 were performing
a test to see if the turbines could provide enough energy to keep the coolant pumps running
if there was a loss of power, and if they could keep them running until the emergency
diesel generator kicked in. They’d done this test before, but the tests
had been unsuccessful. They turned down the reactor to 25 percent
of its capacity, but a problem arose when the power plummeted to one percent. They then tried to increase the power, but
what ensued was a massive power surge. The reactor’s emergency shutdown failed. One engineer had wanted to abort the test
but was told by a senior to carry on. The reactor then became even more unstable. This caused considerable pressure, and according
to one step-by-step report one engineer witnessed, “the 1.5 ton (350 kg) blocks atop the fuel
channels of the Upper Biological Shield began jumping up and down and you could feel the
shock waves through the building structure.” What did he do then? Of course, he ran for it, down a series of
steps to report what he had seen to others. The pumps failed, there was no water flow,
and the reactor started to make loud noises. As another website tells us about the sudden
increase in power, “A peculiarity of the design of the control rods caused a dramatic
power surge as they were inserted into the reactor.” Hot fuel combined with cool water, created
a mass of steam that couldn’t escape and caused lots of pressure. This lifted a 1,000-ton lid and here we have
the start of the radiation leak. Air got into the reactor and caused a graphite
fire. A second explosion happened when hydrogen
was formed by hot water steam contacting zirconium. This was a much bigger explosion than the
first, and it threw debris everywhere. Power went out, except for battery-powered
lighting. The air was filled with dust. One man died, and his body was encased in
all the debris. Burning fuel started fires everywhere and
radiation was cast into the atmosphere. All the internal phone lines went down, and
workers fled from the scene. Firefighters arrived, apparently unaware of
the danger they were in due to the radiation leak. One even joked about it, saying, “There
must be an incredible amount of radiation here. We’ll be lucky if we’re all still alive
in the morning.” He was kidding, but he wasn’t far off. As one woman explained, the next day she found
out there had been a fire, but the kids still played, they went to school, people still
milled around in the street, even though she said, “All the roads were covered in water
and some white liquid. Everything was white, foamy.” She added that she wasn’t told about the
danger of radiation, stating, “About radiation, that radioactivity was escaping, there was
not a word.” The reactor was filled with water, but then
flooding was a problem. After that, for days, thousands of tons of
clay, sand, boron, and dolomite, were dropped by helicopter into the burning reactor to
quell the fire, but also to try and prevent the spread of radiation. For 10 days, a large amount of radioactive
substances pervaded the air, most of it falling as dust into nearby areas, but smaller particles
spread far and wide carried by the wind. We all know what happened next. We should add that there are numerous scientific
theories as to exactly what happened that day, and this is just a basic summary of the
most widely held belief. Hopefully, something like this never happens
again. So, would you ever consider visiting Chernobyl? Tell us why or why not in the comments. Also, be sure to check out our other video
called Russia vs the European Union – Who Would Win?! Thanks for watching, and, as always, don’t
forget to like, share, and subscribe. See you next time!

What Caused the Catastrophic Nuclear Accident in Chernobyl?

100 thoughts on “What Caused the Catastrophic Nuclear Accident in Chernobyl?

  • December 24, 2018 at 12:46 pm
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    Many of you would like to visit Pripyat and do some sightseeing… Is there any other disaster site on your bucket list?

    Reply
  • July 21, 2019 at 7:10 pm
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    Go and watch Chernobyl HBO series . You will get to know much more about what happened at chernobyl.

    Reply
  • July 22, 2019 at 8:51 am
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    You guys should do an episode on the meltdown at the Santa Susana field laboratory in 1959

    Reply
  • July 22, 2019 at 9:33 am
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    Why is when I try a unique comment I get no likes and when I try one someone already has done I get SO MUCH LIKES WAAAA

    Reply
  • July 22, 2019 at 3:51 pm
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    К моменту аварии в ПРИПЯТИ проживало 44 тысячи человек. А не 14 тысяч

    Reply
  • July 23, 2019 at 8:55 pm
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    Who is the person speaking here? Where has he gone to?

    Reply
  • July 23, 2019 at 9:35 pm
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    Tjat ferris wheel is a part of a park that was supposed to open about 4 days after the dissaster happened andhave never been usdd

    Reply
  • July 23, 2019 at 9:49 pm
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    1:19 baltic sea ate kalingrad

    Reply
  • July 24, 2019 at 12:36 am
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    it was Anatoly Dyatlov's fault! He insisted to run the test even if things aren't in the right direction
    I've seen the documentary of HBO

    Reply
  • July 24, 2019 at 3:04 pm
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    Did you realy say that kids played on the fairy weal? The park wasnt even open with the fairy weal. The park never opened…

    Reply
  • July 25, 2019 at 7:19 am
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    Uh the Ferris wheel was never used what are you talking about??

    Reply
  • July 25, 2019 at 3:43 pm
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    So nobodys got superpower? Due to radiation

    Reply
  • July 25, 2019 at 6:55 pm
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    I def wanna go, i wanna grow a third arm

    Reply
  • July 27, 2019 at 1:10 am
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    Why so many dislikes?

    Reply
  • July 27, 2019 at 8:13 pm
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    This is so dumbed down…

    Reply
  • July 28, 2019 at 7:04 am
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    The Legend of Kolya brought me here

    Reply
  • July 28, 2019 at 12:46 pm
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    He didn't mention how the "senior" wanted to get promoted and wanted to end this test fast. The reactor isn't even properly built in order to save money, so the cooling system didn't work. They had 3 tests before the 4th one that caused the detonation, and all 3 of them showed something that didn't work properly. But the higher ups that only wanted to get promoted and continued the test.

    Reply
  • July 28, 2019 at 2:32 pm
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    The reactor in your example is a PWR and the Chernobyl reactors where all RBMK reactors. It’s a different system making a lot of this videos examples false

    Reply
  • July 28, 2019 at 4:06 pm
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    Terrible video.

    Reply
  • July 29, 2019 at 10:32 pm
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    3:45

    Reply
  • July 30, 2019 at 6:38 am
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    I'm just here for the memes

    Reply
  • July 31, 2019 at 1:59 am
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    death toll was near 19,425 people

    Reply
  • July 31, 2019 at 4:09 pm
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    Start watching from 3:30

    Reply
  • August 1, 2019 at 4:12 am
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    there were actually WAY MORE DEATHS but soveits wanted to cover it up

    Reply
  • August 1, 2019 at 12:57 pm
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    Its sad in’it

    Reply
  • August 1, 2019 at 4:39 pm
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    how did an RBMK reactor explode?
    – LIES

    Reply
  • August 1, 2019 at 4:41 pm
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    it's not 3.6 roentgen, it's 15000

    Reply
  • August 1, 2019 at 9:16 pm
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    Why raid Area 51 when you can raid Chernobyl?

    Reply
  • August 2, 2019 at 4:28 pm
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    Chernobyl is not a city…
    Pripyat is the city.
    Chernobyl was the plant…

    Reply
  • August 2, 2019 at 6:44 pm
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    Здесь можно было не до такой же степени и корни и я тебя…….

    Reply
  • August 4, 2019 at 5:24 am
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    Chernobyl used RBMK nuclear reactors. The control rods are graphite tipped, why? Because its it's cheaper. When the operators pressed AZ-5 to shut down the reactor it inserted all the control rods at once. The graphite caused a significant increase in reactivity and a reactor that was meant to handle 3200 megawatts, increased to 33000 megawatts. This caused the water to superheated and instantly turn to steam. The a.ount of pressure caused the 350 kilo steel rods to jump. Eventually the top blew off and when oxygen was exposed to superheated graphite, it exploded. They had handheld dosimeters that maxed out at 3.6 roentgen. It maxed out. They got a 200 roentgen dosimeter and it completely dried. They eventually got a very powerful one and it also maxed out…at 15000 roentgen. The core at my own guess had to be around 300,000 roentgen. HBO got me hooked on nuclear physics and I haven't slept in six days. Of course I still just have a basic understanding. A very basic understanding. I decided to leave out the parts a out the xenon and how none of the crew was not informed and half didn't even know the test was happening. The computer even recommended to shut down the reactor but the man in charge said it didn't know they were running a test. They still kept the other three reactors going while this happened.

    Reply
  • August 4, 2019 at 10:35 am
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    So did all the survivors get cancer?

    Reply
  • August 4, 2019 at 4:36 pm
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    After watching HBO Chernobyl this feel just like a kintergarden's book

    Reply
  • August 5, 2019 at 10:09 am
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    I am from Russia, and I did not understand anything, but I know almost everything about this tragedy..

    Reply
  • August 5, 2019 at 12:28 pm
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    If you are interested in getting a better explanation, then check "Nuclear Accidents: Lessons Learned" by Dr. Brian Sheron from NCASVideo-channel. The part about Chernobyl starts at 35:00. I highly recommend the whole lecture.

    Reply
  • August 5, 2019 at 5:04 pm
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    There was no explosion, you're delusional.

    Reply
  • August 5, 2019 at 7:39 pm
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    Just watch the final episode of the HBO mini series Chernobyl, way clearer and focusing

    Reply
  • August 5, 2019 at 9:06 pm
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    In our city, it were 260:000 people. Now it is…………..

    260:001

    Reply
  • August 6, 2019 at 1:56 am
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    I'd visit Chernobyl in a heart beat.

    Reply
  • August 6, 2019 at 2:25 am
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    Me:let’s go to Russia to meet Vladimir Putin! My sibling: let’s go to get vaporized then!

    Reply
  • August 6, 2019 at 8:26 pm
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    Let's be honest your animations are better than the HBO ones.

    Reply
  • August 7, 2019 at 6:58 am
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    you missed some parts like the graphite tipped rods and that the power dropped because of xenon poisoning which was caused by a need in power it was kept at half power for an extended period of time the and xenon was not burned off because of the low wattage in the reactor so when they continued the test at 700 megawatts it to drop to 10 megawatts and they made an attempt to raise the power and as you said a power surge the scram was pressed causing all the rods to drop and RBmK reactors had a flaw the rods were tipped with graphite but the rise in temperature caused a blockage and the accelerating power of graphite caused the core to go into a meltdown these reactors were supposed to run at 3500 megawatts but Chernobyl's reactor #4 went to and above 33,000 megawatts. and wow that was long!

    Reply
  • August 8, 2019 at 6:39 am
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    "690 people live here". Me: Nice

    Reply
  • August 8, 2019 at 12:21 pm
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    It wasn't 14,000 it was 50,000 people used to live here now it's a ghost town

    Reply
  • August 8, 2019 at 10:38 pm
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    city in the Ukraine (at the very beginning)

    Reply
  • August 10, 2019 at 3:33 am
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    comrade dyatlov

    Reply
  • August 10, 2019 at 5:55 am
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    "That is how an RBMK reactor explodes. Lies" Valery Lagasov.

    Reply
  • August 10, 2019 at 10:50 pm
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    Did you actually ask people why they wouldn't want to visit????

    Reply
  • August 11, 2019 at 12:40 am
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    Smh Dyatlov, smh.

    Reply
  • August 12, 2019 at 9:00 pm
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    3:08 that just isn’t it tho

    Reply
  • August 14, 2019 at 6:20 pm
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    Nuclear reactor 4 didn't "EXPLODE" it went into MELTDOWN.

    Reply
  • August 14, 2019 at 6:32 pm
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    Pripyt is the Chernobyl was the nuclear reactor

    Reply
  • August 15, 2019 at 1:03 am
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    What caused it? Communism.

    Reply
  • August 16, 2019 at 2:57 am
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    3:31 if want you don't your time wasted in not answering the actual question.

    Reply
  • August 16, 2019 at 5:50 am
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    WHERE WAS CAPTAIN PLANET.

    Reply
  • August 17, 2019 at 1:01 am
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    This video was made on the anniversary of the disaster. Nice.

    Reply
  • August 17, 2019 at 6:35 am
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    Nooooo. Ur wrong it’s because one of the workers wanted to go home, so he messed up his job

    Reply
  • August 18, 2019 at 6:30 pm
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    A mini gun

    Reply
  • August 18, 2019 at 7:22 pm
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    Something simmilar happened on Russia lately

    Reply
  • August 19, 2019 at 5:34 am
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    do any of the animals living there look… unusual or spectacular?

    Reply
  • August 19, 2019 at 5:39 am
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    i like how the workers at Chernobyl 1986 had state of the art wide screen LCD flat panel monitors that can pivot to vertical orientation. And their OS software supported it.

    Reply
  • August 19, 2019 at 8:14 am
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    kool

    Reply
  • August 20, 2019 at 2:32 pm
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    Told me nothing

    Reply
  • August 20, 2019 at 10:07 pm
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    How it exploded was they pressed AZ-5. AZ-5 is the emergency shutdown. The rods went down but the radiation went UP instead of down creating heat which resulted in the power plant going BOOM.

    Reply
  • August 21, 2019 at 9:46 am
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    Nah not 14,000
    50,000 people used to live here, Now it's a Ghost town.

    TOLD BY AN WISE CAPTAIN

    Reply
  • August 21, 2019 at 9:07 pm
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    It was used not only to generate power but to make refined uranium for bombs

    Reply
  • August 22, 2019 at 3:56 am
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    Everyone’s like who’s here after watching that trailer and I’m here for an assignment

    Reply
  • August 22, 2019 at 10:19 pm
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    The answer to the title is "LIES".

    Reply
  • August 23, 2019 at 2:56 am
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    I recently read that the nuclear plant may callapse soon

    Reply
  • August 23, 2019 at 10:35 pm
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    Don’t be sad that its over be

    Russia: Happy because it never happened

    Reply
  • August 23, 2019 at 10:56 pm
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    💥

    Reply
  • August 24, 2019 at 2:50 am
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    You couldn’t get me to visit Chernobyl for all the dough in the world!

    Reply
  • August 24, 2019 at 10:51 am
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    What if we nuked Chernobyl?

    Reply
  • August 24, 2019 at 7:40 pm
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    lol

    Reply
  • August 25, 2019 at 9:30 am
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    This video is so horribly inaccurate I had to report it as fake news…Because IT IS.

    Reply
  • August 25, 2019 at 8:32 pm
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    Nobody:

    America to japan: DO YOU WANT TO EXPLODE?

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 1:20 pm
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    Why did the graphite tips increase the reaction?? Was it because they displaced steam so it served as a better moderator? Everything I’ve seen it says it displaced water but isn’t water a better moderator than graphite? So graphite would have reduced the reaction compared to the water already there??

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 3:15 pm
    Permalink

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    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 3:15 pm
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    I went to the search inkling to this wow wow wow wow wow wow

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 3:18 pm
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    bOoM 🤤🔙☢🏭🎡📢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢☢⬆️↗️➡️↘️🇺🇸

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 3:20 pm
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    oi back🔙at Pennsylvania

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 3:20 pm
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    Or Japan

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 8:48 pm
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    I had a dream of finding a core that include full trucks of radiation in a farm. Scary

    Reply
  • August 27, 2019 at 1:19 am
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    Chernobyl wasn’t the city!!! Pripyat was the city.

    Reply
  • August 27, 2019 at 6:49 am
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    If you think about this or killer bees, or ice cap melting, or tornados, or the ozon layer, or whatever, you might begin to worry.
    Whatever is going to happen is going to happen.
    For instance, some people worry about dying. Woody Allen has admitted to this. Up to now, no one has ever been able to beat the odds on that.

    Reply
  • August 27, 2019 at 11:30 am
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    Is it cheap real estate?

    Reply
  • August 28, 2019 at 2:26 pm
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    no A-Z5 did its job but the boron rods to stop it were graphite tipped and made a power surge with an already dangers amount of power that then made more steam and pressure that caused a steam explosion

    Reply
  • August 28, 2019 at 7:59 pm
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    the ferris wheel was ment to open the next day

    Reply
  • August 30, 2019 at 1:13 am
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    Never would i visit such places only if i wish a horrible death by cancer

    Reply
  • August 30, 2019 at 3:54 am
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    i want one Nuclear BOMB !

    Reply
  • August 30, 2019 at 12:28 pm
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    sounds like metro

    Reply
  • August 31, 2019 at 6:55 pm
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    "a horror themed park" You mean a horror in real life

    Reply
  • September 1, 2019 at 5:23 pm
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    7.2k dislikes, not great not terrible.

    Reply
  • September 1, 2019 at 9:20 pm
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    who came here after watching The Final Warning: Chernobyl?

    Reply
  • September 1, 2019 at 10:29 pm
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    Say no to war
    Say yes to peace😍😍😍

    Reply
  • September 1, 2019 at 10:49 pm
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    I came here to learn

    Reply
  • September 2, 2019 at 2:12 am
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    I survived chernobyl

    Reply
  • September 2, 2019 at 3:43 am
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    Why did you show Crimea as a part of Russia?

    Reply
  • September 2, 2019 at 9:40 pm
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    50,000 people used to live here now it’s a ghost town- cpt Macmillan

    Reply
  • September 3, 2019 at 2:09 pm
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    I came from Chernobyl in a nutshell

    Reply

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