Tuesday, April 26, 2011
It makes me feel really old to think that the big nuclear accident in the Ukraine that peopel still talk about happened 25 years ago today.
I can still remember my grandmother ushering me inside - no more outdoor time until the radioactive clouds had passed over Sweden.
Of course, I was only 7 years old at the time, so I wasn't thinking about the 31 people who lost their lives. I didn't even know what a nuclear reactor was. All I knew was that there had been a big explosion somewhere in the Soviet Union, that radioactive fumes were in the atmosphere, and that inside became the new outside for a couple of weeks.
I'm not even sure there was radioactive fallout where we lived in Sweden, but my grandma insisted it was dangerous, so inside I went. It was springtime, which made it so much harder to stay indoors. Flowers were starting to come up, the grass was getting greener. For months, my grandmother would warn me not to touch the grass or eat leaves or whatever we did as 7-year-olds, because there could be remnants of radiation.
Now, all I can think of are those poor souls that lived within a close proximity of the blast, all of those who later died or got sick from the radiation, and all animals near the plant who died off within a couple of years. It took days for the Soviets to providing information to the outside world - who knows how long before it told its people the truth. But people obviously knew something had gone terribly wrong.