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Pictures | Thu Mar 24, 2011 | 3:05pm EDT

The Chernobyl disaster

<p>An aerial view of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine with an arrow pointing to the location of the explosion, May 9, 1986. 


REUTERS/File </p>

An aerial view of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine with an arrow pointing to the location of the explosion, May 9, 1986. REUTERS/File

An aerial view of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine with an arrow pointing to the location of the explosion, May 9, 1986. REUTERS/File

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<p>A view of the Chernobyl nuclear plant, with reactor no. 4 in the foreground, May 14, 1988. 

REUTERS/Dominique Dubouble</p>

A view of the Chernobyl nuclear plant, with reactor no. 4 in the foreground, May 14, 1988. REUTERS/Dominique Dubouble

A view of the Chernobyl nuclear plant, with reactor no. 4 in the foreground, May 14, 1988. REUTERS/Dominique Dubouble

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<p>A helicopter sprays a decontaminating substance over the region surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, June 13, 1986. 

REUTERS/Tass 
</p>

A helicopter sprays a decontaminating substance over the region surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, June 13, 1986. REUTERS/Tass

A helicopter sprays a decontaminating substance over the region surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, June 13, 1986. REUTERS/Tass

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<p>An aerial view of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant  still smoking shortly after the explosion of its fourth reactor.


REUTERS/File </p>

An aerial view of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant still smoking shortly after the explosion of its fourth reactor. REUTERS/File

An aerial view of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant still smoking shortly after the explosion of its fourth reactor. REUTERS/File

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<p>A child drinks an anti-radiation iodine solution in a Warsaw clinic following the Chernobyl disaster, April 30, 1986. 

REUTERS/File</p>

A child drinks an anti-radiation iodine solution in a Warsaw clinic following the Chernobyl disaster, April 30, 1986. REUTERS/File

A child drinks an anti-radiation iodine solution in a Warsaw clinic following the Chernobyl disaster, April 30, 1986. REUTERS/File

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<p>A traffic policeman checks vehicles entering the restricted zone surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear station, June 13, 1986. 


REUTERS/File </p>

A traffic policeman checks vehicles entering the restricted zone surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear station, June 13, 1986. REUTERS/File

A traffic policeman checks vehicles entering the restricted zone surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear station, June 13, 1986. REUTERS/File

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<p>The Chernobyl nuclear power plant after the explosion of its fourth reactor. 

REUTERS/Vladimir Repik</p>

The Chernobyl nuclear power plant after the explosion of its fourth reactor. REUTERS/Vladimir Repik

The Chernobyl nuclear power plant after the explosion of its fourth reactor. REUTERS/Vladimir Repik

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<p>A Ukrainian policeman decontaminates a bus used to carry workers who built a sarcophagus around the fourth reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear station. 


REUTERS/File </p>

A Ukrainian policeman decontaminates a bus used to carry workers who built a sarcophagus around the fourth reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear station. REUTERS/File

A Ukrainian policeman decontaminates a bus used to carry workers who built a sarcophagus around the fourth reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear station. REUTERS/File

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<p>An aerial view of the fourth reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant after its explosion.


REUTERS/File </p>

An aerial view of the fourth reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant after its explosion. REUTERS/File

An aerial view of the fourth reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant after its explosion. REUTERS/File

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<p>Representatives measure the level of radioactivity on the Koenigsplatz in Munich to combat radiation fears following the Chernobyl disaster. 

REUTERS/Claus Hampel</p>

Representatives measure the level of radioactivity on the Koenigsplatz in Munich to combat radiation fears following the Chernobyl disaster. REUTERS/Claus Hampel

Representatives measure the level of radioactivity on the Koenigsplatz in Munich to combat radiation fears following the Chernobyl disaster. REUTERS/Claus Hampel

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<p>A helicopter drops concrete onto the fourth reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power after its explosion.


REUTERS/File </p>

A helicopter drops concrete onto the fourth reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power after its explosion. REUTERS/File

A helicopter drops concrete onto the fourth reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power after its explosion. REUTERS/File

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<p>A worker at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant checks the radiation level in the engine room of the first and second power units, June 5, 1986. 


REUTERS/File </p>

A worker at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant checks the radiation level in the engine room of the first and second power units, June 5, 1986. REUTERS/File

A worker at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant checks the radiation level in the engine room of the first and second power units, June 5, 1986. REUTERS/File

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<p>Major Leonid Telyatnikov, one of the first firefighters at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster and head of the Chernobyl fire brigade, hugs his wife Larisa in the hospital grounds where he is being treated for exposure to radiation, July 4, 1986. 


REUTERS/File </p>

Major Leonid Telyatnikov, one of the first firefighters at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster and head of the Chernobyl fire brigade, hugs his wife Larisa in the hospital grounds where he is being treated for exposure to radiation, July 4,...more

Major Leonid Telyatnikov, one of the first firefighters at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster and head of the Chernobyl fire brigade, hugs his wife Larisa in the hospital grounds where he is being treated for exposure to radiation, July 4, 1986. REUTERS/File

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<p>The building of the sarcophagus around the fourth reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant after its explosion.


REUTERS/File </p>

The building of the sarcophagus around the fourth reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant after its explosion. REUTERS/File

The building of the sarcophagus around the fourth reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant after its explosion. REUTERS/File

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<p>The number four reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear plant after completion of the work to entomb it in concrete, December 2, 1986.


REUTERS/File </p>

The number four reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear plant after completion of the work to entomb it in concrete, December 2, 1986. REUTERS/File

The number four reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear plant after completion of the work to entomb it in concrete, December 2, 1986. REUTERS/File

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<p>Workers enter the Chernobyl nuclear power plant weeks after the 1986 explosion in its fourth reactor. The sign reads: 'Comrades, we guarantee the launch of the first and second bloc by October 1986', referring to the first and second reactor that were switched off after the accident.


REUTERS/File </p>

Workers enter the Chernobyl nuclear power plant weeks after the 1986 explosion in its fourth reactor. The sign reads: 'Comrades, we guarantee the launch of the first and second bloc by October 1986', referring to the first and second reactor that...more

Workers enter the Chernobyl nuclear power plant weeks after the 1986 explosion in its fourth reactor. The sign reads: 'Comrades, we guarantee the launch of the first and second bloc by October 1986', referring to the first and second reactor that were switched off after the accident. REUTERS/File

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<p>A technician monitors nuclear reactor number 3 in a control room of the Chernobyl power plant, May 12, 1988. 


REUTERS/File </p>

A technician monitors nuclear reactor number 3 in a control room of the Chernobyl power plant, May 12, 1988. REUTERS/File

A technician monitors nuclear reactor number 3 in a control room of the Chernobyl power plant, May 12, 1988. REUTERS/File

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<p>Evacuees from the Chernobyl region's collective farms walk through the streets of a newly built village in Makarovsky district near Kiev, August 4, 1986. 

REUTERS/Tass</p>

Evacuees from the Chernobyl region's collective farms walk through the streets of a newly built village in Makarovsky district near Kiev, August 4, 1986. REUTERS/Tass

Evacuees from the Chernobyl region's collective farms walk through the streets of a newly built village in Makarovsky district near Kiev, August 4, 1986. REUTERS/Tass

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<p>Alexander Kovalenko, the former Information Chief of the Chernobyl clean up, holds a radiation meter showing a level of 2.3 milliRoentgens (hundreds of thousands of times less than in the first days after the accident). In the background are the third and the adjoining damaged fourth reactor now entombed in concrete. Photo is undated. 

REUTERS/Meg Bortin</p>

Alexander Kovalenko, the former Information Chief of the Chernobyl clean up, holds a radiation meter showing a level of 2.3 milliRoentgens (hundreds of thousands of times less than in the first days after the accident). In the background are the...more

Alexander Kovalenko, the former Information Chief of the Chernobyl clean up, holds a radiation meter showing a level of 2.3 milliRoentgens (hundreds of thousands of times less than in the first days after the accident). In the background are the third and the adjoining damaged fourth reactor now entombed in concrete. Photo is undated. REUTERS/Meg Bortin

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<p>A wedding party crosses a street weeks after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the settlement of Polesskoe, near Chernobyl, May 9, 1986. 


REUTERS/Vladimir Repik</p>

A wedding party crosses a street weeks after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the settlement of Polesskoe, near Chernobyl, May 9, 1986. REUTERS/Vladimir Repik

A wedding party crosses a street weeks after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the settlement of Polesskoe, near Chernobyl, May 9, 1986. REUTERS/Vladimir Repik

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