Thought your last cold was bad? Try surviving Nuclear Fallout.
Nuclear power is a phenomenal thing. When operating smoothly, a reactor running at full capacity is able to power approximately one million homes. If you thought the cost of electricity was high, there’s no telling the price that the human body will pay when exposed to nuclear energy. In 1986, a nuclear power plant exploded in Chernobyl, in then Soviet-controlled Ukraine.
The most potent enemy is one which cannot be seen and it goes by the name of “Fallout”. The spectacle caused by the explosion itself doesn’t compare to the disaster that reigned once the flames stopped roaring. Given it’s name because nuclear waste is literally falling out of the atmosphere, Fallout effects and infects every cell in the human body. Like an invisible plague, it creeps into anything, destroying everything from the water we drink to the air we breathe – it’s inescapable.
There are two main types of Nuclear Fallout (residual radioactive material that entered the atmosphere after the plant exploded). The first kind, “Early Fallout”, refers to the first 24 hours after the initial reactor explosion. The second kind is is known as “Delayed Fallout” and occurs days, months and even years after the initial disaster. Characteristically of each, both attack the human body as they do the environment in different ways. Fallout, no matter the type, poses as a deadly threat to the human body.
Early Fallout is vicious and causes immediate bodily destruction. When exposed to this initial radioactive material, you can expect widespread deterioration of your bodily cells, or as it’s more commonly known “Radiation Poisoning”. Along with this, your intestinal lining will quickly disintegrate causing severe internal bleeding and the collapse of your central nervous system. Other physical effects range from thermal burns to nausea and vomiting. High amounts of this ionizing radiation attacks your body from every angle, leaving victims dead within hours of exposure.
Delayed Fallout is slow, silent, and potent. Exposure won’t effect you right away. Rather, any damaged cells will attempt to repair themselves. Those cells that fail to do so will result in altered DNA, otherwise known as a mutation. Also effected are the genes that control cell division. This leads to advanced development in Cancer cells. The terror doesn’t end there. If a fetus is exposed to radiation, their damaged cells and DNA will result in major birth defects and even death.
Considered to be the worst nuclear disaster in history, the effects of the explosion remain intact today. 33 years later, Chernobyl remains a ghost town with radiation levels that are still too high to support human life.