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April 26, 1986 - Learning A New Word: Chernobyl.

Twenty-five years since the nuclear power plant disaster at Chernobyl in the Ukraine. News reports on the initial denial and days later as the story unfolds.

<strong>The eerie, perplexing testament.</strong>


Before April 26th 1986, Chernobyl was a word hardly anybody ever heard. But within days it became the only word on peoples minds. In what was first passed off as "nothing" quickly escalated as reports from outside the Soviet Union filtered in what was to become the worst Nuclear Power Plant disaster in history.

Here are several reports - the first starting with a small mention on the CBS World News Roundup of April 27th and then picks up with acknowledgment from the Soviet Union on the 29th of April - three days after the initial event.

Bill Lynch (CBS News – April 29th): “Even Radio Moscow is now using the word disaster to describe the massive release of radiation from a nuclear reactor in the Ukraine, the Soviet bread basket. The dimensions of that disaster are becoming more clear today. One Soviet diplomat called it the “worst nuclear accident in history”. A West German nuclear safety expert says what happened north of Kiev last weekend appears to be even more serious than the worst case scenarios scientists predicted for such plants. A Swedish diplomat in Moscow says Soviet officials there told him it was worse than a meltdown.”

Twenty-five years later, Chernobyl stands as mute testimony, an exclusion zone and a sarcophagus.

And how is Fukushima doing these days?

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