Chernobyl, Ukraine Fires 2020

Start Date

April 8, 2020

Overview

Forest fires have been burning near the site of the Chernobyl, Ukraine nuclear disaster since early April. Some of these fires are taking place within the “Exclusion Zone”, the 1,000-square-mile region surrounding the nuclear power plant which restricts access to areas contaminated with radiation from the 1986 disaster. This introduces the possibility that smoke plumes rising from the fires could transport dangerous radioactive particles into the atmosphere and into other regions, presenting a health and air quality risk to local populations.

NASA's Earth Applied Sciences Disasters Program is monitoring the situation to identify potential stakeholders and determine what NASA resources and capabilities, if any, may be available to support risk management for this event. 

On April 5, 2020, NOAA-NASA's Suomi NPP satellite captured this image of the human caused wildfire that broke out near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine. This is the same power plant that was the scene of the nuclear accident that occurred on S

On April 5, 2020, NOAA-NASA's Suomi NPP satellite captured this image of the human caused wildfire that broke out near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine. This is the same power plant that was the scene of the nuclear accident that occurred on Saturday 26 April 1986, at the No. 4 nuclear reactor in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, near the city of Pripyat in the north of the Ukrainian SSR. Credit: NASA