Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Accident In 1986, a steam explosion in the Chernobyl nuclear facility blew off the upper part and sections of the side walls of the Number 4 reactor building. Following the disaster, a “sarcophagus” of steel and concrete was constructed over the reactor to prevent dispersal of radioactive waste. Thirty years later, the “New Safe Confinement Building” was built around the Number 4 reactor. The ill-fated Number 4 reactor building of the Chernobyl nuclear power facility in the Ukraine. Photographed in 2005 by Petr Pavlicek (IAEA). Licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0. The New Safe Confinement building is visible behind the sculpture in this photograph taken in 2018. Licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0. Above: Minsk, Byelorussian SSR, Soviet Union. A young patient of the Republican Research Centre for Radiation Medicine poses for a photo. The boy was affected by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, his treatment in particular sponsored by numerous charity funds all over the country. May 1, 1991. Photograph by Vladimir Shuba/TASS. Right: Mogilyov Region, Belorussian SSR, USSR. Local resident Anna Goncharova crying when leaving her native village contaminated with radiation after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Photograph by Sergei Zheludovich and Vladimir Shuba/TASS. Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Accident The tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, 2011 precipitated an accident that was more severe, in some ways, than the accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. Hydrogen explosions at three of the four buildings in the Fukushima nuclear power facility resulted in wide dispersal of radioactive debris. As of April 2022, there were 35,000 people still living as evacuees as reconstruction of housing in the area continues. Even now, cooling the melteddown nuclear fuels is generating 140 tons of contaminated water a day. This contaminated water is treated in a complex filtration process, but the radioactive material tritium remains in the water. The number of large tanks for storing this “treated water” is increasing on the site. The Number 3 reactor building of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility was damaged by a hydrogen explosion. Photograph courtesy of Mainichi Shimbun, November 12, 2011. With people on board, a bus passes through the cherry blossom in the Difficult-To-Return zone of Tomioka town, Fukushima. Photograph courtesy of Mainichi Shimbun, April 6, 2019. Police officers search for missing victims in Fukushima’s evacuation area, April 7, 2011. Photograph courtesy of Mainichi Shimbun.