IS CHERNOBYL THE ONLY NUCLEAR DISASTER OR ACCIDENT TO HAVE EVER OCCURRED ?

Most of us have heard of the Chernobyl incident. Now after the new HBO series, Chernobyl has become part of our household discussion. Chernobyl sure does attract lot of debate in whether it could have been averted. However the other point that comes to our minds is Chernobyl the only nuclear disaster to have hit mankind or there are others in waiting to happen.

Lets split the question into two:

Part 1: Is Chernobyl the only disaster to have ever occurred?

Of course not. Who could have forgotten the blasts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Are they not comparable? Why are people not comparing the nuclear bombs with Chernobyl. There is reason behind that. Though the atomic bombs killed way too many people than Chernobyl, the Chernobyl disaster put 400 times more radioactive material than the Hiroshima bomb. Also the material released during Chernobyl was way more long lived than the bombs. These two are the primary reasons why the Chernobyl incident rates higher but still doesn’t stand alone. But still in terms of nuclear radioactive material being thrown into earth’s atmosphere, the nuclear tests during the mid 20th century still rank higher. But since the tests were done on remote sites their impacts were not felt by humans. Thereby in terms of impact to humans and the earth’s atmosphere, Chernobyl is among the top nuclear disasters to have occurred.

Part 2: Are other disasters in waiting to happen?

The answer to this question is both yes and No. Most current nuclear facilities are technologically more advanced and are better protected to avoid diasasters like Chernobyl. Having said that, lets take the case of Fukushima Daichhi nuclear incident in japan. Though the facility had built in protection, When Mother nature unveiled her fury by way of earthquake and Tsunami, there was little that could be done. Scientists and engineers are now trying to protect against such situations, there is always a chance that such situations can happen again.

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