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Chernobyl plant
Chernobyl Nuclear power plant

“Good evening, comrades.  All of you know that there has been an incredible misfortune – the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.  It has painfully affected the Soviet people, and shocked the international community.  For the first time, we confront the real force of nuclear energy, out of control”

Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, May 1986

The Task

Produce an informative essay illustrated from website images, in the style of a contemporary newspaper report using a publishing package such as Microsoft Publisher.

You will need to structure your article using the following prompts:

What type of pollution was created?
What was the scale of the pollution?
What are the SOURCE(s), PATH(s) AND SINK(s)?
What is the history of nuclear power in the former Soviet Union?
Who was responsible for the pollution and what was their attitude to pollution?

What were the impacts of the event? – Social, Economic, Environmental

How was the pollution monitored / managed?

What would be the ideal management scenario?

A list of useful websites has been included to help you with your research.  You can also try and find out more from other sites – think about using some of the Environmental sites such as Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace.

Remember though, all of the sites you use will have some kind of bias, so make sure you either give a balanced view or note at the end of the article which way it is biased.


Useful websites

A website showing satellite images of the site before and after the event.

A comprehensive site offering lots of background information on the disaster.

The Ukranian Chernobyl site, full of useful links.

A Belarusian scientist gives his personal recollections of the secrecy that, in the crucial period immediately following the Chernobyl accident, left the unsuspecting public exposed to fallout

Internal Soviet documents relating the accident.

Official World Nuclear association site highlighting the Chernobyl issue.

The UN site detailing the disaster.

Maps and images from the area.

Radiation and other health issues in the Chernobyl area.

A New Scientist article looking at current/future policy to prevent Chernobyl style accidents.