April 29, 2016 9:02 am
30 years ago this year, an explosion caused the meltdown of a reactor in the Chernobyl radioactive plant, in the town of Pripyat, Ukraine. 31 people were killed directly by the incident and it is still unclear how many have been affected by the radioactive waste released into the atmosphere. Three decades on, authorities are still working on stabilizing the collapsing reactor. We don’t know how long it will take until the Chernobyl area can be reinhabited; most estimates are in the hundreds of years.
According to the Canadian-based NGO The Chernobyl Foundation, “the overall effect on future generations is not clear yet, since only 10% of overall problems can be observed in the first generation. It is estimated that, by 2050, new debilitating health problems will appear that are linked to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.”
On April 26, 2016, the sirens of Chernobyl were sounded at the same moment as the first reactor exploded and the Ukrainian authorities and the families of those who were killed in the explosion or after it, observed a minute of silence.
30 years have passed and there are still a lot of questions to be answered, but in the mist of this important commemoration we decided that the IATE term of this week should be related to Chernobyl disaster. For this we have chosen becquerel as the IATE term of this week.
The becquerel (symbol Bq) is in the International System of Units, the unit of radioactivity. One becquerel is defined as the activity of a quantity of radioactive material in which one nucleus decays per second. The becquerel is therefore equivalent to an inverse second. The unit is named after Henri Becquerel, a physicist who shared a Nobel Prize with Pierre Curie and Marie Curie in 1903 for their work in discovering radioactivity.
- The Chernobyl Foundation
- Becquerel on Wikipedia
- The BBC coverage of the Chernobyl Commemorations
- Article on Chernobyl
Written by Raluca Caranfil
Communication Trainee at TermCoord
Journalist & Student at the University of Luxembourg
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