This is the opening segment of a massive archive of research and data concerning the ongoing catastrophe affecting all Life on Mother Earth that commenced with the detonation of the Unit 4 Reactor at Chernobyl in 1986. The photograph above is from Chernobyl Legacy by Paul Fusco (1996).
“Photographer Paul Fusco faces the dark legacy of Chernobyl, focusing on the horrifying human consequences of the event that is now 20 years in the past. Fusco’s work forces us to remember an important nightmare that we would forget at the peril of our mortality and our future. Chernobyl Legacy is Fusco’s elegy to these innocent souls, and a haunting reminder to the rest of the world that anything man-made can [and will] eventually break.”
The complete archive is here:

    “For millions of people on this planet, the explosion of the fourth reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on April 26, 1986 divided life into two parts: before and after. The Chernobyl catastrophe was the occasion for technological adventurism and heroism on the part of the “liquidators,” the personnel who worked at the site attempting to contain the escaping radiation, and, in our view, for cowardice on the part of people in public life who were afraid to warn the population of the unimaginable threat to innocent victims. Chernobyl has become synonymous with human suffering and has brought new words into our lives—Chernobyl liquidators, children of Chernobyl, Chernobyl AIDs, Chernobyl contamination, Chernobyl heart, Chernobyl dust, and Chernobyl collar (thyroid disease), etc.
    “For the past 23 years it has been clear that there is a danger greater than nuclear weapons concealed within nuclear power. Emissions from this one reactor exceeded a hundredfold the radioactive contamination of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. No citizen of any country can be assured that he or she can be protected from radioactive contamination. One nuclear reactor can pollute half the globe. Chernobyl fallout covered the entire Northern Hemisphere.”

—Introduction: The Difficult Truth about Chernobyl, page 1,
Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment,
Alexey V. Yablokov, Vassily B. Nesterenko, Alexey V. Nesterenko,
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Volume 1181, December 2009, 335 Pages.

Surface ground deposition of caesium-137 released in Europe after the Chernobyl accident.

© EC/IGCE Roshydromet (Russia)/Minchernobyl (Ukraine)/Belhydromet (Belarus), 1998; adapted from European Union 1998

In early morning 26 April 1986 the number 4 reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine went critical and detonated, releasing more than 9 million terabecquerels (TBq) of radionuclides over much (>200,000 km2) of Europe and eastern Russia. In the September 1986 American Chemical Society Symposium on Low-Level Radiation, John W. Gofman, M.D., Ph.D., in describing what was at that time, The Single Most Serious Industrial Accident Ever, stated:

It is correct to say that a single event—the Chernobyl accident—has caused between 600,000 and a million cases of cancer and leukemia. The radio-cesiums are on the ground, and humans are committed to receive the doses from them. To the extent that a share of the dose has already been received, a share of the malignancies is already underway, even though they will not become manifest, clinically, for years.
     The Chernobyl accident obviously represents the most serious industrial tragedy in the history of mankind, and by a very large factor….
     We can predict with high confidence that an honest study of the proposed population sample will simply confirm—but decades from now—the magnitude of radiation production of cancer, a magnitude we know quite well prior to such a study.
     The existing human evidence provides a solid basis for assessing the Chernobyl toll. The credible lower-limit of malignancies from the cesium fallout is approximately 640,000 cases, and a credible upper-limit is probably 1,600,000 malignancies. Only additional and reliable measurements of cesium fallout, made by independent scientists, can narrow the range.

Twenty-three years later, Dr. Gofman’s projections were borne out with the compendium release of Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment which concluded 985,000 people died between 1986 and 2004 as a result of the release into the biosphere of radioactive matter from the detonation of Unit 4’s reactor core. Janette D. Sherman, M.D., a physician and toxicologist, specializing in chemicals and nuclear radiation that cause cancer and birth defects, was asked by senior author Alexey Yablokov to be the Contributing Editor for an English edition because the original was published in Russian. As she wrote in 2011:

On the 20th anniversary of Chernobyl, WHO and the IAEA published the “Chernobyl Forum Report,” mentioning only 350 sources, mainly from the English literature, while in reality there are more than 30,000 publications and up to 170,000 sources that address the consequences of Chernobyl. By 2006, there had been 10 major publications concerning Chernobyl published in England, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and the United States, with scientists currently publishing new data.
     After waiting two decades for the findings of Chernobyl to be recognized by the United Nations, three scientists, Alexey Yablokov, Vasily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko undertook the task to collect, abstract and translate some 5,000 articles reported by multiple scientists, who observed first-hand the effects from the fallout. These had been published largely in Slavic languages and not previously available in translation. The result was Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment, published by the New York Academy of Sciences in 2009.

Radioactive contamination of the biosphere, of course, affected all Life forms, not just human as is demonstrated in reports of studies by Dr. Timothy Mousseau[1][2] and colleagues[1][2], among others (e.g., Chapter III. Consequences of the Chernobyl Catastrophe for the Environment from Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment). A significant barrier preventing addressing the health impacts and concerns by adequately responding to the agony and suffering caused by the catastrophe at Chernobyl is from nuclear proponents who still promote the deceptions that nuclear power is safe, clean, carbon free, and a viable solution to the deepening ecological crisis including global overheat. As Dr. Yuri Bandazhevsky wrote in 2018:

Thirty-three years have passed since the accident at Reactor 4 at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, yet the seriousness of this event for all humanity is still of concern. During the whole post-accident period, the nuclear lobby made many efforts to weaken public interest in this event.
          The Institute for Congenital and Hereditary Diseases, Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus, directed by Prof. G. I. Lazjuk, Associate Member of the National Academy of Sciences, also assessed the effect of a radiation factor occurred as a result of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident on the prenatal development of human embryos. Gennady Ilyich established this unique Institute back in Soviet times, and over the years, along with his highly qualified students and colleagues he studied the morphological manifestations (congenital defects) of human genetic disorders, also in the context of consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident. The Institute was closed down in the beginning of the 21st century, as the nuclear lobby was afraid of results of its activities.
          Almost every inhabitant of the Republic of Belarus has experienced radiation exposure directly. So it is no surprise that there has been an increase in cardiovascular diseases and cancers due to this, including among children of the second post-Chernobyl generation.
          That is why the country’s leadership should have asked for serious humanitarian aid and support of the world community in the 1990s and not refused it, as it was done. A method of assessment of radiation doses received by the population and individuals formed the basis for governmental decisions to render assistance to the population with a view to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident. A concept based on results of effects of external radiation exposure on humans was used. The influence of incorporated radionuclides on separate organs and systems was hardly considered. However, millions of people have suffered and are suffering currently because radioactive elements have been entering and are entering their body causing damage to vital organs and systems. These people are not recognized as victims of the Chernobyl disaster at the state level.
          This is the main problem of Chernobyl and its negative impact on human health in the long term.

(Emphasis added.)

Iniencephaly as a result of radiation exposure. Photograph reproduced with permission of Dr Wladimir Wertelecki. See Dr. Wertelecki’s film presentation, Congenital Malformations in Rivne Polossia and the Chernobyl Accident, given at March 2013 Symposium: The Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident).

Critical Analysis

“We did not yet possess a system of imagination, analogies, words or experiences for the catastrophe of Chernobyl.”

The Chernobyl and Fukushima catastrophes have caused, are causing, and will continue to cause living and dying agony and nightmares for untold generations and millenia. The purpose of this archive of historically significant source materials is to assist younger people—and as many others as possible—in learning about our true history, how our world actually operates, and re-mind how we must collectively weigh the consequences of every decision our species makes, reflecting on and being informed by the vital numinous awareness that all Life is sacred, and that the needs of the future, of all life yet unborn, must guide every choice and decision made in the present.

A good introduction to this history is “Chernobyl: Consequences of the catastrophe 25 years later” by Janette D. Sherman, M.D., and Alexey V. Yablokov, Ph.D.

Chronological Timeline of Included Sources
On the second sarcophagus covering Reactor 4 …
and the longevity of lethal Radioactivity After Chernobyl Accident that will last for hundreds, thousands, and tens of thousands of years

The arch is a vast project – “the largest movable structure to be built in the history of mankind”, as one of those involved has called it.

    But critics argue it is a little more than a carpet to sweep the main problem under, because the fuel within the wrecked reactor will simply be left as it is.

    “The new, stable and environmentally safe structure will contain the remains of the reactor for at least 100 years,” says a press release from the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, which will disburse the 840 million euros ($1bn) the arch is expected to cost.

    “During (this) time an even longer-lasting solution to the Chernobyl problem must be found.”

    To Mykhailo Khodorivsky, a member of a consortium which in the 1990s investigated ways of removing the fuel, this seems like storing up problems for the future.

    The arch will last for 100 to 300 years, while the fuel will remain deadly for thousands.

    “A new confinement is necessary, but it does not tackle the root of the problem,” Mr Khodorivsky says. “Our conclusion was that in 100 years the problem will not get simpler.”

    For one thing, some of the plutonium will be decaying into americium, which is even more hazardous for health.

    “If nothing is done with the fuel, and the arch is contaminated from the inside, what do you do when it gets old?” he asks. “Build an even bigger one on top?”
from: “Chernobyl’s continuing hazards,” Stephen Mulvey, BBC News, 25 apr 2006