Children born to Chernobyl survivors don’t carry more genetic mutations
The largest and most advanced study of its kind not only updates past results, it also provides new details on how fallout from the disaster caused certain cancers.
On the morning of April 26, 1986, a reactor in a nuclear power plant in what’s now northern Ukraine exploded and burned—triggering what would become history’s deadliest nuclear accident. The hellish fire belched out immense clouds of radioactive fallout that entered people’s lungs, settled on homes, fields, and livestock pastures, and infiltrated their supplies. Milk, salami, and eggs had become, in the words of one nuclear engineer, “a radioactive byproduct.”
In the years since, researchers have monitored the health of populations that lived through the Chernobyl disaster, from people in nearby towns to the “liquidators” who cleaned up and built a huge concrete sarcophagus over the site. Nearly 35 years later, an international team has taken an