Chernobyl: Who Knows How Many Will Die?

In a stunning new book, a Soviet nuclear expert details Chernobyl's causes and catastrophic toll

The people of Pripyat had no way of knowing that their small Ukrainian town was dying that morning as they gazed at the ruddy glow over Chernobyl reactor No. 4 some 2 1/2 miles away. It was a bright spring Saturday, April 26, 1986. A townsman came in from sunning himself on a roof, exclaiming that he had never seen anything like it, he had turned brown in no time at all. He had what would later be known as a nuclear tan. A few hours afterward, the man was taken away in an ambulance, convulsed with uncontrollable vomiting. Soon many...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!