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Chernobyl Nuclear Accident

Photo of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant

On April 26, 1986 an accident occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in northern Ukraine. In addition to 28 near-term deaths due to radiation, the accident resulted in the exposure of 5 million people in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine to fallout from the accident, principally radioiodines.

This exposure has led to substantial epidemiological research, especially among clean up workers and children. Over the past 25 years, the governments of Ukraine, Belarus and the United States*, and research partners, have been conducting such research.

Explore this site further to read about our radiation epidemiology and dosimetry studies, find out what is known, and learn what we are still studying.


* Radiation Epidemiology Branch, Division of Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services.