Even after the ongoing tragedy at the Fukushima reactor in Japan, the explosion and subsequent fire at the Chernobyl plant still ranks as the worst in history. The plant was in Pripyat, a now abandoned city in the modern Ukraine and the former Soviet Union. The death toll from the accident and radiation varies from a 4,000 individual estimate from the World Health Organization to about 200,000 from Greenpeace.
A helicopter sprays a decontaminant near the Chernobyl nuclear power station on December 6, 1986, following an explosion that covered the area with radioactivity on April 26, 1986. UPI
Unidentified workers take radiation measurements in the area surrounding the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, following the April 26, 1986 explosion. UPI/INS
An aerial photograph of the damage caused to the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine, caused by the explosion on April 26, 1986. UPI/INS
Cleanup efforts following the April 26, 1986 disaster at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine. UPI/INS
Construction of the "sarcophagus" at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine, following the explosion on April 26, 1986. UPI/INS