Chernobyl’s disaster sounds wake up call for surrounding region

As the great tragedy of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster

near Pripyat, Ukraine is remembered 35-years later,

surrounding nations sound a warning bell for today’s

nuclear threats.

Rachel Brooks

April 26, 2021 

“Chernobyl” by Kamil Porembiński is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Today, the BBC recalled the Chernobyl tragedy of April 26, 1986, as the “three-day evacuation that lasted for 35 years.” The ramifications of Chernobyl were extensive, stretching beyond their immediate region, into neighboring Belarus and beyond, causing medical issues in the South Caucasus.

On April 26, exactly 35 years after the blast, Ukraine announced it had reopened a new nuclear waste site in the vicinity, AP News reports. This renewed interest goes beyond making Chernobyl a nuclear waste containment site, as Ukraine’s government signaled the intention to make Chernobyl “the site of revival.”

For the 35th anniversary, Ukrainian authorities unsealed classified documents which had hidden the fact that the containment facility saw several accidents before the blast on April 26, 1986. The AP reported that the Ukraine Security Services revealed how Soviet authorities has put a lasting gag order on Ukraine preventing the spread of knowledge regarding the blast.

In July 1986, the Soviets classified all details of the blast’s impact on civilians, including the related illness reports. A French journalist attempted to take water and soil samples from the site in 1987, but the KGB swapped his samples with clean ones, states the AP News.

Chernobyl comes with a warning for today, says Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry 

On Chernobyl Remembrance Day, Azertac News shared the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry’s statement in remembrance and warning.

Azertac presented the statement which began as follows:

“On the occasion of 35th International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day, we express our solidarity with the countries as well as all people affected by this tragedy. The nuclear accident at Chernobyl, near Pripyat in the northern part of Ukraine in 1986 was a humanitarian tragedy on an enormous scale,” the statement reads.

The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry then related the consequences of the Chernobyl accidents and climatic final incident to the concerns for today’s nuclear waste sites. 

“The Chernobyl accident had a profound impact on the nuclear industry, leading to increased cooperation on safety and the adoption of new legal instruments.

Most crucially, it focused global attention on safety and the importance of human and organizational factors in achieving these changes. The far-reaching effect of this disaster has proven that the safety of nuclear power plants should concern not only the states in which they are located but also nearby countries that may be affected by potential risks,” wrote the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.

Then, recalling this cooperation at the time of the event, Azerbaijan turned attention to the nuclear breakdown at the Metsamor plant.

The profound ripple impact of Chernobyl was noted in this

2006 IAEA Report on Chernobyl.  

Recent reports are available at the International Atomic Energy Agency, Chernobyl Forum. 

“In this context, risks associated with the Metsamor (NPP) in Armenia need to be thoroughly addressed by the international community. This NPP was built in the years 1976-1980 with similar technology used in Chernobyl and is located in an active seismic zone. The fateful combination of outdated technology and location place Metsamor among the most dangerous nuclear plants in the world. Despite continuous warnings by various international organizations calling the facility “a danger to the entire region,” Armenia still continues to exploit Metsamor NPP beyond its operational life span,” wrote the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.