The Chernobyl Disaster

The Chernobyl Disaster Photo Credit: Mond [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons


In this lesson you'll learn about the effects the Chernobyl disaster had on the community around it.


Have you ever asked yourself, "What are living things made from and how are the parts put together?" Visit the page Building Blocks of Life to learn more about this complex question.

Visit Chernobyl's effects linger on. Read the article and answer the following questions.

  • When was this article published?
  • Why will restrictions on some food continue in the United Kingdom and former Soviet Union for another 50 years?
  • Where have high levels of radioactive cesium been measured?
  • What happened to the levels of radioactive cesium during the first five years after the Chernobyl accident?
  • Describe why levels of radioactive cesium are not decreasing anymore.
  • Why is diffusion of radioactive cesium back into the environment occurring? Explain the physical principle behind this diffusion.
  • How long will the United Kingdom have to continue restrictions on sheep from the Cumbria region as a food item for humans? 
  • How long will forest berries, fungi, and fish from parts of the former Soviet Union remain restricted?

Now read Chernobyl Children Show DNA Changes and answer the following questions.

  • Who are the children that this article is about? To whom were they born?
  • What are "liquidators"?
  • Why are scientists studying the children?
  • What are the controls in this study?
  • Describe what scientists discovered about the children's DNA.  
  • Describe the factors that may be linked to the number of DNA changes observed in children.

Read Nuclear Energy Agency: Health Impact and answer the  following questions.

  • Describe what happens to DNA, cells, and organs after low and high doses of radiation.  
  • Describe the acute health effects of the Chernobyl disaster.
  • Describe the chronic or late health effects of the Chernobyl disaster.

This esheet is a part of the The Chernobyl Disaster lesson.

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