A new TV drama series about the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster is out.

The world’s worst nuclear power disaster

In the early hours of 26th April 1986, one of the four reactors at the Chernobyl nuclear power station ran out of control while engineers were running safety tests. A power surge of one hundred times normal output led to a violent explosion and fire. The thousand tonne concrete and steel top of the reactor building was blown off and huge chunks of blazing, radioactive material were blasted into the air.


Thirty one people died immediately following the disaster and many thousands of people have either died or become ill from radiation poisoning caused by the accident.

The lowest estimate from The Chernobyl Forum – a body which includes WHO, IAEA and United Nations representatives – reported in 2005 a figure of around 4,000 deaths.

Many argue that the number of deaths is far higher. A 2009 book by the New York Academy of Science, which analysed thousands of published papers, put the number of people across the globe whose deaths are attributable to radiation exposure from Chernobyl at close to one million.

The series depicts the lives of those who lived in Pripyat before the Chernobyl disaster took place and the devastation left in its aftermath.

The lesson is clear – nuclear power is dangerous and must be scrapped

It’s important we learn the lessons of the Chernobyl disaster. The 2011 Fukushima disaster showed that the world has been slow to catch-up.

The BBC’s Arts editor Will Gompertz said about the Chernobyl series “this is TV that doesn’t just get you thinking, it stops you sleeping.”

We hope Sky/HBO’s telling of this story will make an important contribution to the national debate about the future of nuclear power here in Britain. It’s time to scrap nuclear power before another nuclear disaster takes place.