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Most Radioactive Places on Earth (Still)

Over time, the Earth suffered many changes including several tragedies. In some places, things that happened unplanned affected many lives. However, these disasters have marked the world and changed it, leaving their mark on human history. Besides wars, some places were affected by radioactive disasters and they remained the most radioactive places on Earth. Of course, we are exposed to radiation every day but here are the most radioactive places recorded so far.

Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Plant, Japan

This nuclear power plant is located in the town of Naraha and Tomioka in the Futaba District of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. When the 2011 earthquake hit Japan, it caused a tsunami that put Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Plant in danger. It was created to survive in any situation but, unfortunately, the tsunami was twice as strong as the resilience of the nuclear power plant. For a 9,1 magnitude earthquake, understandably, some inconveniences were created but what followed was something overwhelming. The Daini Nuclear was again under control after two days but it will never be used again. Massive amounts of radiation and radioactive waste still affected the environment and the Pacific Ocean, leaving its mark in that area and becoming the most horrible event since Chernobyl.

Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant. (Fukushima, Japan) earthquake japan tokyo waste contamination uranium plutonium beach
Credit / Tokyo Electric Power Co., TEPCO

Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant is the sister of Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Plant, approximately 12 km (7.5 mi) to the north, quite affected.

Chernobyl, Ukraine

On the 26th April 1986 in Ukraine, near the city Pripyat, there was an incident that affected half of Europe. From a simple safety test on the steam turbine leading to two or more explosions followed by an open-air reactor core fire. Many people were affected by this accident and 49,000 people were evacuated from Pripyat and then they evacuated more people when the exclusion zone was increased to 30 km. After that, an area of approximately 2600 km2 became the Chernobyl Exclusive Zone.

In the numerous attempts to calm the accident, two engineers died and two more were burned. One hundred and thirty-four staff and firemen were hospitalized due to the radiation. After some days thirty-eight people died and many made cancer. To this day, there are traces of radiation and the place has become popular and visited. With the help of recently released films, you can see all the details about this complex and horrible accident.

Michał Lis chernobyl chernobyl pripyat urbex ukraine chernobylexclusionzone abandoned stalker chernobylzone slav radiation chernobylhbo gopnik russia chernobylmemes
Michał Lis / Unsplash

If you want to find more things about some of the disasters, check on Netflix “Chernobyl 1986”, Hbo “Chernobyl” or our article “Chernobyl – The Worst Nuclear Disaster In History – Images

 The Polygon, Kazakhstan

This not-so-popular radioactive place owns the third place in this top. The Semipalatinsk Test Site, also known as “ The Polygon” was conducted by the Soviet Union and they conducted 456 nuclear tests between the years 1949-1989. Sadly, the Soviet authorities hid the side effects and people found out very late about them, exactly in the year 1991. They didn’t want to tell the truth and because of that 1.5 million suffered the consequences over the years without even knowing what is happening.

In the year 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed and the Site was neglected. They took some tests and some radioactive material remained in that area including some plutonium.  Some studies on families that lived near the polygon showed that they have mutations to their DNA and the majority of the diseases were tumors.

The polygon waste contamination deversation nuclear experiment
Credit / National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Site Office

Hanford Site, USA

Another place that had high radioactive activities is in the USA, in the state of Washington, and was used in the Cold War. Its main activity was the Plutonium production for weapons. In Hanford, nuclear technology developed fast and scientists produced a lot of achievements. It was discovered that the radioactive materials were released into the air and the Columbia River. The majority of the products left were buried. This type of incident is common when it comes to wars and weapons but the things that come after are most likely bad for the environment.

The en:N Reactor at the en:Hanford site, along the en:Columbia River. The twin KE and KW reactors can be seen in the immediate background, with the en:B Reactor in the distance. nuclear waste contamination beach usa united states of america deversation
Credit / United States Department of Energy

The Siberian Chemical Combine, Russia

The Siberian Chemical Combine, Seversk, Russia was an important combine for the Soviet Union nuclear weapons components. After the fall of the Union Soviet, plutonium production gradually stopped and the uranium was highly enriched.

When the Cold War came to an end, the last plutonium production at the Siberian Chemical Combine was shut down in 2008.

These days, a lot of things can happen especially that technology and the factories are more evolved and our weapons are more dangerous. After all the things that marked our World with bad things, we shouldn’t let any more accidents happen. With all the knowledge and the developments we brought to our Planet, no disaster should happen ever again.

cooling towers russia siberia waste deversation nuclear contamination
Credit / Дмитрий Шипуля at Russian Wikipedia

The Somali Coast

It’s thought more than 600 barrels of nuclear waste may have been dumped on the Somali Coast by several Italian and Swiss companies in the 1980s. It is rumored that even an Italian criminal organization “Ndrangheta” took the advantage of lax Somali regulations and dumped not only radioactive material but also hospital rubbish and toxic metals on the coast.

Somalia’s 3,333 kilometers (2,071 mi) coastline is the largest in mainland Africa, one of the most beautiful in the world, but every light has its shadow.

The area may well be a future environmental disaster in the making, and even nowadays, the effect of these radioactive materials can be seen as birth defects and cancer, common problems in the area.

The International Space Station was flying 252 miles above the Indian Ocean when an Expedition 57 crew member photographed the southern Somali coast. somali coast waste contamination deversation pirates sea ocean beach
Credit / NASA

Sellafield, United Kingdom

Sellafield is known for being the UK’s biggest producer of weapons-grade nuclear material during the Cold War, constructed in 1940 on the western coast of England to manufacture plutonium for atomic weapons. Located close to Seascale, this small village on the coast of the Irish Sea nowadays is used as a nuclear fuel reprocessing and decommissioning site. The Irish Sea is the most radioactive sea in the world, due to the fact that Sellafield released some 9 million liters of contaminated waste into the sea daily during its peak period.

Aerial view Sellafield, Cumbria deversation nuclear weapons beach contaminated attack
Credits / Simon Ledingham

Read our articles: Chernobyl – The Worst Nuclear Disaster In History – Images

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