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The Chernobyl accident
Remains of the power plant
Firstly, some background info can be found on this site, where you can get a brief overview of the causes and consequences of the accident. What was new to me, was the fact that so many security measures were ignored during the tests that lead to the meltdown. I always thought that people would be a bit more careful when it comes to dangerous things like nuclear energy and that Homer Simpson-esque behaviour in such situations was just dark humour. Of course, it is possible that some of those facts are shown in a different light to emphasise the carelessness of the workers. For more info, you should check out "The Chornobyl Nuclear Accident and it's Ramifications", which offers in-depth information about the whole incident and the following years.
I have always been somewhat interested in this disaster, as the events sound like they come from the plot of a doomsday movie, only that they have actually taken place. Now, years later, it seems unreal that such a thing could have happened and few even remember it, especially people living outside Europe and the post-Soviet countries. And finally, for a less "official" link, I'd like to point out something that Pstonie posted on the GGC forum a while ago: Ghost Town. It gives you a good overview of what the contaminated area looks like today and some tips you'll need in case you want to ride through the deserted towns on a motorcycle.