Transcript for Chernobyl nuclear power plant creates disaster in 1986
Good evening there has been a nuclear accident in the Soviet Union and the Soviets have admitted that it happened the Soviet version is this. One of the atomic reactors at the turn of all atomic power plant in the city of Kia was damaged. And there is speculation in Moscow that people were injured and may have died the Soviets may have been fairly quick to acknowledge the accident because evidence. In the form of mild a nuclear radiation had already reached beyond the Soviet borders to Scandinavia. We begin with a ABC's dean Reynolds. The first word that something was seriously wrong came from this power plant in eastern Sweden where workers coming on the job registered abnormally high levels of radiation on their bodies. Although the levels were not high enough to harm humans and no accident that occurred at that plant it was shut down. And as tests were conducted similar puzzling reports of high radiation came in from all over Scandinavia but still no accidents were reported. Leading to the conclusion that the problem was elsewhere to the east in the Soviet Union. A fact confirmed to the Soviet people on television tonight. It's fascinating news fifth. It's assumed an official announcement from the concert menace this that has been an accident at the tender their atomic power station one of the atomic reactor is what damaged. The consequences of the accident are being taken kept help is being given to the victims of the accident but government commission has been set up. The civilian plant in question is in the Ukraine it's something of a showcase facility featured here in Soviet life magazine which extolled its safety record. It's near the city of Keogh population 2.5 million and about a thousand miles from Scandinavia. Meeting that whatever did occur there a radioactive cloud headed north across Poland today and in the Denmark. Where radiation levels were five times normal to Finland six times normal to Norway up 50%. And Sweden illegally high. Almost certainly be most severe accident because they were taking place in the short history of civilian nuclear power. That means it is far worse than the Three Mile Island incident of 1979. Experts tonight say that cloud of radiation is now dissipating over the north Atlantic and poses no further threat to anyone. But as the Soviets treat an unknown number of casualties there's no way to say how much lasting damage back cloud may have already caused. Dean Reynolds ABC news London.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.