Written by Philippe Perchoc,
In the early hours of 26 April 1986, a test on the fourth reactor of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant resulted in a massive energy surge, which led to the biggest nuclear accident in history. Some 600 000 men participated in the containment operations, putting their lives at risk, and around 350 000 people were displaced in the years after the accident.
Since 1986, the international community, led by the European Union, has been assisting Ukraine, Belarus and Russia in dealing with the far-reaching consequences of Chernobyl. The EU is the main donor to the two post-Chernobyl accounts of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and funds major remediation projects, including the building of a new sarcophagus for the reactor. With its expertise amassed over the past 30 years, the EU has been extending its assistance in the field of security and cooperation to more and more countries in the world, in particular, to Belarus, Russia, Armenia and China.
Read the complete briefing on ‘Chernobyl 30 years on: The EU‘s response’ in PDF.
See also the briefing on: Chernobyl 30 years on: Environmental and health effects