Environment: The Chernobyl Cover-Up

Are Soviet officials still concealing the truth about the disaster?

The Soviet government's first reaction to the 1986 catastrophe at the Chernobyl nuclear plant was to hide it from the world. Only when confronted with irrefutable evidence did officials admit that one of the plant's reactors had exploded, releasing a radioactive cloud that spread over the country and across Europe.

But some Soviet politicians and scientists now claim that a cover-up is still going on. They charge that 1) the accident released at least 20 times more radiation than the government has admitted, 2) Communist officials failed to evacuate nearby towns and cities right away, although they knew of the danger,...

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