Haunting Images: Children of the Chernobyl Disaster

It’s absolutely baffling that nuclear power continues to be proclaimed as a safe energy alternative. Nuclear reactors are susceptible to any number of unforeseen technological failures, including natural disasters and human errors. With approximately 400 reactors currently operating around the world, there are tens of millions of people at risk.

Of course, nuclear radiation is invisible, and its detrimental effects are not always immediately apparent.

This year will mark the 29th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, the most horrendous nuclear meltdown in history. The Chernobyl disaster released one hundred times more radiation over Western Russian, Belarus and the Ukraine than the atom bombs dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The immense radiation emptied entire cities, doomed entire regions, and crept into the bodies of millions of people. However, many people seem to have forgotten that the effects of radiation still persist today. Many experts estimate that the majority of people who will be harmed or killed by the Chernobyl disaster were not even born at the time of the accident.

In a dark, emotional account, Magnum photographer Paul Fusco visits the region, where a whole generation has been born, lived, and died amid such life-destroying pollution. They have eaten it in their food, drunk it in their water, and breathed it in the air. Simply going outside to play remains a life-threatening activity.

Image Credit: Paul Fusco/Magnum