Meltdown at Chernobyl

On the podcast: A journalist reconstructs the world’s worst nuclear disaster.

By , the executive editor for news and podcasts at Foreign Policy.
Workers spray contaminated houses within the “no-go” cordon around Chernobyl (Igor Kostin/Sygma via Getty Images)
Workers spray contaminated houses within the “no-go” cordon around Chernobyl (Igor Kostin/Sygma via Getty Images)
Workers spray contaminated houses within the “no-go” cordon around Chernobyl (Igor Kostin/Sygma via Getty Images)

In April 1986, reactor No. 4 of the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station exploded in Ukraine, setting off the world’s worst nuclear disaster. Dozens died in the immediate aftermath, and thousands more eventually got sick with cancer.

On First Person this week, we speak to the journalist Adam Higginbotham, whose new book reconstructs the accident in meticulous detail and addresses some lingering questions about the coverup that followed and the way the ordeal helped bring down the Soviet Union. The book is titled Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster.

 

In April 1986, reactor No. 4 of the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station exploded in Ukraine, setting off the world’s worst nuclear disaster. Dozens died in the immediate aftermath, and thousands more eventually got sick with cancer.

On First Person this week, we speak to the journalist Adam Higginbotham, whose new book reconstructs the accident in meticulous detail and addresses some lingering questions about the coverup that followed and the way the ordeal helped bring down the Soviet Union. The book is titled Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster.

 

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