On April 26, 1986, a reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Ukraine exploded, precipitating the worst nuclear disaster in history. Nuclear fallout rained over Eastern Europe and Scandinavia, and the nearby town of Pripyat had to be completely evacuated.
In 2006, On The Earth Productions went to Chernobyl to see the sarcophagus that surrounds the plant and to speak to those affected by the disaster. One guide explains that Pripyat was built to “service” the nuclear plant, and that the town bore the brunt of the radioactive fallout. At the Chernobyl museum, a guide who was born in the area explains that the soldiers who worked so hard to clean up and stabilize the situation in the aftermath of the disaster were some of the first victims of the radiation.
But could the disaster of Chernobyl happen again? In a revealing segment that echoes the unfolding crisis at Japan's Fukushima plant, the museum guide explains that the plant was built on a fault line. It was not, she says, "so clever to build on unstable ground.”