And guess what? This bad boy (otherwise known as Reactor 4) still hasn’t been fixed.
Built in a hurry back in 1986, the “sarcophagus” now covering the burnt reactor was only given a life of 20-30 years which could very well mean the next Chernobyl will be Chernobyl unless Ukraine can come up with the remaining funds needed for construction. Even after the international donors conference that was held last week, they are still about $300 million short. Pocket change for Medvedev and Putin, huh? It baffles and upsets me at how little Russia has done to help out considering this all happened on their Soviet watch.
So in memorium of this horrible day in history I thought I would remind ya’ll of the trip I took to Chernobyl back in 2009.
I also wanted to bring to your attention a really incredible organization called Chernobyl Children International that I have been wanting to work with for years but unfortunately haven’t had the chance yet. They do lots of great work with children in Belarus who have been affected by the radioactive environment around them. The accident occurred in Ukraine but actually it was in neighboring Belarus where 70% of the released radiation ended up. Here’s just one crazy statistic off their website:
“Belarusian doctors have identified increases in a number of cancers, including: a 200 percent increase in breast cancer, a 100 percent increase in the incidence of cancer and leukemia, and a 2,400 percent increase in the incidence of thyroid cancer”
If you want to watch a really informative (and unfortunately heartbreaking) documentary that highlights the work of the organization, I recommend Chernobyl Heart. If you are interested in the project or want to make a small donation they also have a really great website with an online shop that you can visit.