On April 26, 1986, a reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Ukraine exploded, precipitating the worst nuclear accident in history. Radioactive fallout rained over Eastern Europe and Scandinavia, and the nearby town of Pripyat had to be completely evacuated. Thousands of people were affected, and all the land in a 19-mile radius around the plant remains contaminated and off-limits to the general public.
To mark the 25th anniversary of Chernobyl’s disaster and the lessons it still holds for us today, The Nation has assembled a collection of articles from our archives. Be sure to also watch this exclusive video shot inside Chernobyl’s dead zone, and to check out our slide show, The Nation in the Nuclear Age.
Harvey Wasserman, Time to Dispel The Nuclear Cloud, May 24, 1986
Both radioactive and political fallout from the Chernobyl reactor disaster have now soaked deep into the American grass roots.
Charles Perrow, The Habit of Courting Disaster, October 11, 1986
If every disaster is unique, or disastrous in its own way, they have at least this much in common: they all suggest that we need to revise our generalizations about catastrophes.
Adam Federman, Remembering Chernobyl, April 25, 2006
Twenty years after the Chernobyl disaster, an area twice the size of Rhode Island is uninhabitable, yet a power-hungry world thirsts for nuclear energy.
Andrew Meier, The Unforgettable Fire, March 30, 2006
Voices From Chernobyl is an oral history twenty years after a nuclear disaster.