Chernobyl is located in northern Ukraine, near the border with Belarus. It is approximately 80 miles north of Kiev. Chernobyl is the site of one of the worst nuclear disasters, which occurred on April 26, 1986 when reactor 4 exploded at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
Reactor 4 exploded at 1:24 a.m. after it had been shut down for routine maintenance, but due to complications it had a power surge and overheated. The radiation released was 100 times greater than the bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Thirty-one people died after the explosion and thousands more are expected to die from radiation exposure. The city of Pripyat was evacuated on April 27 and the city of Chernobyl was evacuated on May 2. In the end, all inhabitants within a 19-mile radius would be evacuated and the area was designated the "Chernobyl Exclusion Zone."