If people live in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, why is there no one in Chernobyl?

35 years have passed since the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster. Although many years have passed, the remains of the radioactive material scattered in the atmosphere due to this accident are still spreading today. For example, just a few months ago, radioactive substances were found in the soil of southern Germany. In the 1980s, Russian scientists studied the distribution of radioactive materials such as cesium-137 and cesium-134, which are used in nuclear reactors, and found that it traveled through soil from Chernobyl to the Baltic Sea in 3.5 years. From there it is very easy to reach Germany. 

So, while the radiation level in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where nuclear bombs exploded, has decreased to a level where people can live, why is it increasing even more in Chernobyl?

The Nagasaki and Hiroshima bombs were detonated 500 meters above the ground. After that, most of the radioactive material was dispersed into the atmosphere. In addition, only 700 g of the 64 kg of uranium that was dropped on Hiroshima exploded in a nuclear reaction, and the rest simply disintegrated. 

Since the Chernobyl explosion happened on dry land, most of the radioactive material was absorbed into the soil. Moreover, in the case of Japan, all the radiation dissipated after the explosion, while in the case of Chernobyl, most of the cesium-137 and cesium-134 seeped into the soil for a month.  As mentioned earlier, only 700 grams of plutonium reacted in Hiroshima, while 6 kilograms of plutonium in the Nagasaki bomb exploded in a nuclear reaction. 

The nuclear reactor that exploded in Chernobyl contained a total of 180 tons of radioactive material, of which 3.6 tons consisted of uranium. So, the 2 Japanese balls together are only 6.7 kg. You will agree that this figure is nothing next to 3.6 tons. 

After six months in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the radioactive rays have dissipated. The U.S. military personally tested the radiation levels and said everything was normal in the area where the bomb went off. 

But in Chernobyl, no living creature can approach it.  In addition, the radioactive fuel of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant contained large amounts of harmful elements such as iodine-13 and arsenic-241, cesium-137, plutonium-239, and strontium-90. These substances have not been found in Japanese cities. Currently, radiation activity in Chernobyl is decreasing. Some harmful elements are gone. However, many will remain in the ground for thousands of years. This means that the day will not come when people will be able to live in Chernobyl again.

In the 1970s, 1980s, and 2010s, Japanese scientists searched for traces of uranium-236, cesium-137, plutonium-239, and 240 in Hiroshima soil, but found nothing. 

Finally, since the explosions occurred above the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, most of the radioactive materials did not penetrate the soil and dispersed in the air after a few months. 

Currently, about 1.6 million people live in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, while the 30-kilometer radius of Chernobyl is prohibited for people and animals to enter. 

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