Igor Gramotkin is not a man you would necessarily expect to tell you that nuclear power is essential to the future progress of humankind. He is the manager of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine, and has spent more than two decades at the site of the most devastating nuclear accident in history, trying to stop further radiation emissions and cleaning the area.
The control room at the plant’s destroyed Reactor Number Four, now unlit and strewn with debris, is where a risky experiment designed to test the reactor’s cooling systems went horribly wrong early on 26 April 1986, causing a huge explosion that spewed radioactive material high into the air.
During a tour of the site, Mr Gramotkin admitted that the destroyed reactor, still full of radioactive waste and nuclear fuel, remains “a threat not only to Ukraine but to the whole world” until it is encased in a vast steel structure that is being built. But, he said, Chernobyl was a unique event and unlikely to be repeated.
Continue reading at “25 years on, what Chernobyl tells us about Japan’s crisis” the the Independent”.