Ukraine marks 30 years since 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine is marking the 30th anniversary of an explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear plant, the world's worst nuclear disaster.

A vigil was held at midnight on Monday in the Ukrainian town of Slavutych where many former Chernobyl workers were relocated.

About 600,000 people, often referred to as Chernobyl's "liquidators," were sent in to fight the fire and clean up the worst of the nuclear plant's contamination. The initial explosion at the power plant killed at least 30 people and exposed millions to dangerous levels of radiation. The final death toll is subject to speculation, due to the long-term effects of radiation.

Commemorative events are going to be held later Tuesday outside the Chernobyl power stations as well as in Belarus and Russia, neighboring countries that also suffered from the fallout.