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In Pictures: 30 Years On From The Chernobyl Disaster

Marking the anniversary of the worst nuclear plant accident in history.

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On 26 April 1986, the worst nuclear plant accident in history took place at the Chernobyl atomic power station in Ukraine, which was then part of the Soviet Union.

Radioactive material spewed into the atmosphere when an uncontrolled reaction blew the roof off, causing contamination to drift across Ukraine's borders into Russia, Belarus, and large parts of northern Europe. Over 30 people died at the site of the explosion and the spread of radioactive material caused many more deaths and illnesses. Over 350,000 people were evacuated from contaminated areas in subsequent years after the disaster.

Ukraine held candle-lit vigils to mark the 30th anniversary of the disaster. Here we take a look at a few pictures of Chernobyl from the history archives and the present day.

Chuck Nacke / The LIFE Images Collection / Getty

A child having a thyroid test at a children's clinic north of Minsk, where children from areas near the Chernobyl nuclear plant suffered from leukaemia and other ailments that were believed to be the result of exposure to radiation emitted in the 1986 accident.


Photographer Toby Batchelor visited the ruins of the power station in 2014, capturing these desolate and atmospheric photos.


Matt Tucker is the UK Picture Editor for BuzzFeed and is based in London.

Contact Matthew Tucker at

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