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Chernobyl Nuclear Accident, 1986

A collection from the History and Public Policy Program's Digital Archive that chronicles the building of the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station along with details of the accident and the aftermath of the 1986 explosion.

Helicopter spraying decontamination liquid over Chernobyl.
A helicopter sprays a decontamination liquid nearby the Chernobyl reactor in 1986.

Related Programs

History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program strives to make public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, to facilitate scholarship based on those records, and to use these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs.  Read more

Nuclear Proliferation International History Project

The Nuclear Proliferation International History Project is a global network of individuals and institutions engaged in the study of international nuclear history through archival documents, oral history interviews, and other empirical sources. At the Wilson Center, it is part of the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program.  Read more